When I was a kid I thought that the sun could be switched off. You know, like the t.v. had to be turned off and the goldfish given food before I wandered off to bed. The sun had to be turned off too, it was a chore. And it worried me more than you could imagine.
Actually, it was more a case of my parents told me it could and when you're young their word is law. So because they told me it was switched off, I believed them. And because I believed them it caused no end of concern. I always worried what would happen if they weren't around anymore. I had this irrational fear.
It got to the point where they had to show me to make me calm down, which is irrational in itself if you think about it. They should have just admitted their false claim. But no. There was this switch underneath the stairs, looking back I guess it was just a dud switch, but my parents swore blind that this was the switch for the sun. They even let me take up the family responsibility a few times, just to prove that it worked. They'd stand me there just before the sunset and let me think I was putting out the sun. It did make me feel more comfortable for a while, I have to admit, I let myself see them as invincible keepers of the sun for a time.
It's only now, as I lie awake and watch the twigs knock against my window in the December breeze, that I know different. It is only now that I would swap a thousand sunsets for a few more moments with them. It is only now that I wish they were as invincible as they once claimed to be.
The sun still sets without them, you know, even though their bodies lie resting in the earth. The switch in my house must have been bypass on that day, somehow, because nothing stopped when they died except my maybe a piece of my heart.