24. Chapter 23.
If the world were comprised of people like our Theo, it would be clean and kind. The world would be devoid of hatred and spite. Everyone would have food and hope. Everyone would have a good story to share and the friendliness to share it. Everyone would have a great and legitimate concern for one another. Our Theo was one of the few genuinely good people I have ever known, she was capable of both delivering and experiencing immense joy, and served as both my light and my glue. She loved her family and friends. She was our Theo our friend our hero, and in that role we could not have asked for a stronger woman. She did everything she was supposed to so and more – She took care of us when we were sick, celebrated our victories, comforted us in defeat, punished severely those that dared harm us, and pointed us rather firmly at times in what was the right direction. She was my sanity when I lacked in such. She would treat me like a human being and not just like some other crazy. She looked after me when I was younger. She was my protector and my friend. She helped me through some really tough times and was there for the good times too. Theo made my stay at Broadmoor worth living. Her smile and guidance made my time there fly by. I remember my first meeting with Theo at the nurse’s station. Nothing about my experience in the institution was taken very seriously. I talked the ear off Theo for only a matter of days until she gave in and became a friend. She was a mother to Jade. Theo had fallen in love with Jade when she was only three. After taking Jade under her wing, Theo looked after and cared for her as her own. Because to Theo that is exactly what Jade was. Jade was her cherished baby girl. When little Jesy came along Theo was overwhelmed with joy and wanted to tell the world. With little Jesy only being a year old she will not remember our Theo in the flesh but we will make sure Jesy knows exactly who her nanny Theo was. But peace is not within us now. There is no quiet where we are. Our well is dry, and the buckets come back up empty. Now we choose to scour our hearts, and we scour them with grief. I feel that it is acceptable to admit our grief because our Theo was taken from us too soon. Years after her own mother died, she burst into tears telling me about how badly it hurt, and how much she missed her. She was destroyed by the death of her father, Gregg, the pain of which some feel deeply still. She felt the grief so keenly because she loved so deeply, so too are we bought low by this unbelievable, crippling pain. We are wounded; the well is dry; we scour our hearts. But even as we grieve we are thankful for so many things. I am thankful that our Theo was around whenever we needed. I am thankful that I got to know her. I am thankful that I got to call her a friend. I am thankful that I got to experience on more than one occasion one of her famous cuddles. I am thankful that our Theo taught us to love each other in a way that will make getting though this possible. And I think, most of us all, we are thankful for our Theo’s humour. Our Theo’s wit was bone dry and her comic timing was wonderful. I remember on one occasion Theo had a headache at work. I was purposely being loud so she flipped me the bird. On another occasion Theo had another headache and was resting on one of the beds. I acted as if it was life or death and told her if she could not hold on anymore that she could go it she wanted. She told me “Vera I will not be pushed.” For us it is hard. It is hard to be left behind. It is hard to be the ones who stay. And it is okay to admit that it is hard, because telling all of you how hard this is for me brings us together in honouring her, even if we must do it in short simple words. We call to her by all of her names- Theodora, Theo, Ma, Miss, Nurse lady. We all love her, and she loved us. This is hard. This hurts. As our Theo taught us to be strong, she expects us to carry on, and so we will. We will be okay. We will fill up again. But for now, the well is dry, and the buckets come up empty. Now there is no quiet where we are. Now we scour our hearts. ------ After Theo’s service I was exhausted. Many of her closest friends and family couldn’t wait to meet me for some reason. They talked about Theo in the fondest way and I wanted to cry but nothing came. I lay on the bed in the hotel staring at the ceiling. “Hey” Harry is standing in the doorframe. “Hi” “You okay?” I nod. “I really need a drink” I sigh “Good” Harry pulls a bottle of bourbon out from behind his back with two glasses. “How did you know?” Harry taps his nose and pours the drinks. “To Theo” he raises his glass. “To Theo” I smile and down the drink in one go. “Detective Lance was at the service, did you see him?” Harry asks. “I didn’t really see anyone,” I admit. “He said the trial is set to start tomorrow. We have to be down at the court house by ten” “Good the sooner this is over the sooner things can go back to normal” I blurt. I close my eyes instantly regretting my words as Harrys face changes. “I didn’t mean-“ “I know Vera” he interrupts. Why does this have to be so hard? Maybe I should just go and finish Philip off and get thrown away somewhere sooner. I will miss Harry more than anything. The fact that I will lose him in a matter of weeks hurts. Lately it feels like everything hurts. Theo hurts, Harry hurts, the nightmares hurt. “Harry?” “Yeah Vera” I swallow hard. “I’m Scared”