“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.” The Crow
When I was a little girl, I played library with my books. I cut up little slips of paper and wrote my name on them. Each slip had a number and each book had a slip. I kept a list of all my books and their numbers on a sheet of lined paper on my bookshelf. There was a spot next to each title on the list, where I could write the name of who ever I loaned a book to. Not that anyone ever borrowed my books.
I was lonely then as I find myself tonight. I wish I could summon the innocence of that little girl. Back then I had all these ideas about life. I thought that destiny was tangible, that everything you wanted you would eventually receive, that fate was a force that worked with you, for you and not against you. That everyone got a happily ever after.
I’ve lost so many people I love since then. People who didn’t live to see their happily ever after. People who deserve to be here. People who still had places to go and people to meet and lives to change. People my boys will never know or never remember.
Pictures and memories are all I can offer my boys of these people.
This is Grandmom Anne. She would have loved you so much! She liked to do puzzles too, just like you do. She loved watching the birds. Cardinals were her favorites, she liked blue jays too. When she was a little girl, she could sing and dance just like Shirley Temple. Grandmom Anne made the best iced tea the world has ever known. She was the bravest woman I’ve ever known.”
“What made her so brave, Mom?” Sean asks.
Her parents were alcoholics. She once worked in a hot factory rolling cigars for hours on end. She lost the great love of her life when her babies were small. She worked hard, so hard and did it all on her own. She was made of something powerful, she was indestructible, she was inspiring, she was...
“She used to feed the squirrels cookies right from her hand.” I tell him.
“Wow…you’re right, Mom. She was really brave.”
"Mom, tell me again about when Aunt Peggy took me to the beach.”
“Aunt Peggy took you and Kevin to the beach.” I tell him. “You played games in the arcade. You told Aunt Peggy the sea gulls made you nervous and she thought that was really funny.”
“And she let me have soda , Mom. Remember she let me have soda?”
“Yes Buddy, she let you have soda.”
“And remember she always called kisses “smoochies” instead of kisses?”
“I remember, Bud.” I tell him.
“Yeah…I remember too.”
But some day...some day he won’t remember.
I’ll remind him.
It’s my job to keep everyone alive.