I remember very little of one of the hardest days of my life. But I remember you. Holding my mother as she cried for the loss of her father. I don’t remember what was said or who else was there, but I remember you. Tall and strong, teaching me with your presence how to comfort someone for whom words could never be enough.
You told me of my twin cousins, dead before their first breath. You consoled me then. Said little, but said enough.
I can’t remember the first time we met. As is with memories, when I think hard enough I think I can remember. A false memory, a patchwork of times and places that my mind has assembled till the joins are barely visible.
You have always been quite. All through my childhood and adolescence the silence has been there, a shadow in the background of my life. Never a silence of distance or awkwardness. A comfortable silence. Like a sofa that is always there, not always appreciated but there none the less.
I don’t know if these words will be said in person, or what you would think of them. You have been there at my best and at my worse and your silence brought me calmness.