Archive for April 2, 2014

April 3rd- The Candle Connection- Chris Ritchey


There are so many of your gifts in this house- given first from chubby little fingers – made from your heart- to the “candles” of birthday that fill every room.

Your last gift to me was a book “The Lost Symbol”

The past few days have been about “birthdays” Gavin’s and your dad’s – there were candles, memories,thoughts of you and of those last days in Texas.

For weeks now, I have been in physical agony- trying, as I am want to do , to heal myself. I can’t abide Drs. there are only 4 I trust – one is dead, one is retired the other two are out of network and not local .

Sometimes when the pain became excruciating I would think of you having 8 to 10 hot, hot baths a night whilst we were in Texas, hot water bottles, so hot as to mottle your skin just to deal with the pain you were going through, never complaining to me so as not to worry me- but I knew….and if you could endure that pain I too could endure what was happening to me. But the pain was “debilitating”and the trigger was pulled
You would, as soon as you were old enough and earning money, buy me special candles – the trouble was they were always artistic and expensive and I couldn’t bring myself to light them. After one more such gift of candles I couldn’t bear to burn , I told you:

“Chris, these are far too nice to burn – just buy me ones I can feel OK with lighting” .

The next birthday came the “Daisy Candles” and once again I didn’t have the heart to burn them I supposed you had forgotten the request .They have sat on my dresser these past years – daisies embedded in wax.

This year winter has lingered on and on . Since the physical pain I was enduring precluded me from being “active” or even sitting down to write much of anything, I took to doing little things to keep busy that didn’t entail sitting, standing, walking, thinking or laying down.

I noticed the cellophane around the “Daisy Candles” was definitely yellowing and becoming brittle. My thought was to bring them into the living room where my mum, who loves daisies might get some cheer from them as a symbol of “spring will eventually arrive and with it daisies”

My own physical pain by this time was 11 on the scale of 1-10 and I decided I would have to go to the dreaded Dr. if I was to be able to continue to “be” with Gavin and Braedyn so I bit the bullet and went. Part of the treatment- prescribed physical therapy.
The morning before I went to the therapy session I brought the candles downstairs , took off the wrapper and then saw the instructions-

I realized as I read those words you had listened to me– because the candles were special- the wick would burn for 29-30 hours and when it was done the outside of the candle would still be intact and I could insert tea light candle that would illuminate the outer shell. I placed the candles on my mum’s special nest of tables with the cannon your grandfather made and went to therapy.

As I sat in the waiting room for my appointment the thought struck me the candle was yet another symbol- how your life burned with beauty and strength for as many years as those candles had hours (29) and what was left was a mere glimmer of memories that would only burn as long as I lighted the “memory of you” . The “tea light” of the 3rd of every month where once again your life is lived!
Of course, the thoughts and visions rushed in and around my poor brain. They swirled, crushed and pummelled me so that once again huge fat uncontrollable tears splashed silently on the waiting room floor and breathing stopped .

The staff were very nice because they believed it was my physical pain causing distress and I didn’t enlighten them as to the real reason I was “emotionally incontinent” once more. …………….. a connection of candles…………………….


April 2, 2014 at 11:09 pm 2 comments



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April 2014