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I will remember you

March 8, 2008

There is this lovely and expensive dinner. A warm room with a fire roaring and many waiters walking windlessly around our table attending each morsel of need. Tight smiles. Polite conversation. Some laughing. Some tentative questions. Some silences that none of us can stand. My friend is too loud. Too funny. Too awkward and sad. I think she is extremely brave because I can see it all bubbling on the surface. She has such control that they don’t come to the surface and pop but are simmering there always. She talks about tattoos friends and family will get. Memorials that are being completed. A complex web of remembrance has unfolded spilling out into the present to remind us of the past.

I don’t need a path of pebbles in a garden for the children. I won’t require a picture on a large shared stone monument. I don’t need angel statues on my shelves looking down at me. I won’t mark my skin and add to my others as though it is a notch in my memories to be displayed. I can’t dress my children in their clothes. I don’t want to watch my son ride his bike. It felt like duty to eat her leftover food bought for a life she could not continue.

That smell that hung in the air as I walked through her house was so full of them. The barbies under the sink in a tub waiting for my mother’s sweet birthday baby to take out and pretend with. The spongebob bandaids I had to use when I skinned my knee falling off her porch. The handmade decorations from school years past that mark the end of it all. The end of everything for them in an instant of pain and torture and fright.

I don’t need those solid reminders because I can just close my eyes and see their lovely faces before me. I see them all. I hope that my mother, if she is able, is with them. I hope that wherever they floated off to in the instant their fate was upon them that they were lifted to safety and peace.

I imagine this whoosh of energy being sucked up like a water spout and when the force of the storm has dissipated the water will just fall to the earth drowning everything below it.

We are washed up as though that wave has picked us up and crashed us to the shore of some bare island. It is beautiful and lovely but we can’t see it because we are torn and alone and the beauty of it all is meaningless without you to share in it. We are cold and lonely without all of you and you should know that it is impossible to ever forget you. So forgive me if you need to see effigies to you but my display is like a scar on my heart and one that not everyone can see but I hope that you can.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. gina permalink
    March 8, 2008 5:28 pm

    cole, it’s ironic that you have written about them again here b/c i have been thinking about them so much over the past few weeks. honestly i think the best memorial to them is doing anything that can prevent the same fate in another family.
    it is a very bitter sadness. my heart breaks for you every time i think about it.
    the only thing i can really say is that i love you, and i’m so sorry.

  2. March 8, 2008 9:21 pm

    You are such a beautiful person, and that was a beautiful letter of love. I’m so sad for you and them, and I hope that your friend is able to find some peace.

  3. March 9, 2008 9:02 pm

    The water spout, the wave, the rhythm of your writing is such a powerful, poetic, intensely conveyed elegy to your losses. The effigies are for the living. The dead live on in the scars in your heart.

  4. March 9, 2008 10:07 pm

    Cole, I’m sorry. This is so beautiful and moving. And it’s so sad.

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