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Forget the Rest

I have a quote from Walt Whitman hanging on my bedroom wall. It reads: "We were together. I forget the rest." They aren't really his words, but paraphrased from a line in Leaves of Grass.

"Day by day and night by night we were together,—All else has long been forgotten by me."

Romantic, isn't it? I thought so.

Four-plus years ago, I was absently browsing Etsy (as you do when you're awake at 2 a.m. breastfeeding) and lo-and-behold someone had put the quote in black typewriter font onto a white 3' x 3' wooden frame. I was smitten. I bought it right then. I couldn't wait to have it hanging in my bedroom. Couldn't wait to show my husband. We'd recently purchased our first home together in San Diego and our bedroom walls were bare. I knew he'd approve. It was minimalistic, modern. Clean.

When the piece finally came, I was beyond excited. I eagerly unwrapped and presented it to him. But we couldn't agree on where to hang it. I wanted it over the bed; he thought it would be better in another room. It was familiar ground for us - two very opinionated artists with differing design aesthetics. To avoid escalation, I backed down. Said the perfect place would come to us. We'd find common ground. Let's give it time.

Funny thing, time. Slippery despite its concrete nature. The sun rises, the sun sets. Clockwork. And yet a day can crawl, a year flash by. I put the art in a closet where it collected dust until we sold that house and moved to Oregon in the summer of 2019. In our dream city, our forever-home, I propped the art hopefully against the wall in our bedroom. Here, it would fit. Here, it would find a home, as we had.

Three days after my husband's death, in a manic fit I pounded a nail into the wall across from our bed and hung the art.

We were together.

I forget the rest.

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