July 7th, 2002

duke-thoughtful

Memorial Candle

Just after midnight on July 6th, I lit a candle. It was one of those little jar candles, the kind that's just a jar full of wax with a wick in the middle. I'm not altogether sure why I lit it, mostly because I noticed it in front of me and thought it would look nice. It was an old candle, and almost empty - the wick was really short, and there was less than a centimeter of wax left in the bottom of the jar. There was a bunch of wax left on the sides though, which had never melted properly.

Anyway, I lit it, enjoyed it for awhile, then went to sleep. I figured eventually it would burn itself out.

Much to my surprise, when I woke up the next morning it was still burning.

Although I hadn't actually lit it in memory of S, I do occasionally light candles for him. It seemed to me as though his memory was keeping it lit, on that anniversary of his loss. So I left it burning, admiring it frequently. Perseverance and tenacity, it seemed to say. It was just a tiny flickering flame. The wick was down to nothing, but that wax from the sides of the jar was melting just enough to keep it stuttering, burning, away.

It was still burning when I left the house to go see Star Wars. It was still burning when I came back, and packed to go on my driving trip. I left it burning when I went, hoping that S would keep it burning the rest of the day.

When I got home today, it was out. Not surprising, that! But every ounce, every last drop, of wax had burned away. It was just an empty glass jar. And my bedroom still smelled nicely of vanilla (it was a scented candle). And it's really not that amazing in the grand scale of things, but it was a plesant and unexpected surprise to see it last so long.