What survives a fire? Let me catalogue for you what the flames didn’t steal from me.
Her diamond ring (it never quite matched the sparkle in my baby’s eye).
Her carbon-fiber skis (a must-have for the St. Moritz crowd, even though she didn’t ski).
Her sterling silver tea service (a display item for others to gush over; never served a drop of it).
Her fancy espresso machine (a decorative item for the kitchen; she preferred instant coffee).
Her state-of-the-art treadmill (she always said she’d use it, but she never got around to it).
All these things I missed birthdays, anniversaries, days she needed me to hug her, to afford…
All these things she never asked for but I gave her, because I loved her but couldn’t say it…
Yes, all these thing—everything of value—seems to have survived the fire.
Everything, that is, but her.