Did I take too long? Has it been too long til I told you what I won't forget about you?
I won't forget
that i don't remember before i knew you
there were earthquakes and hello kitty and you were always there, somewhere
when phones had cords on them, i talked to you and twisted it, the cord around my finger
i judged your girlfriends, like only a 7-year-old could
i remember the uniforms, the active duty, the dropping by
the days you were the only adult conversation
you told me you had broken all 10 commandments and i thought it was IMPOSSIBLE and i asked how and you said when i was 18 you'd tell me. i remembered when i turned 18. but then i understood, and i didn't ask how it happened.
little caesar's every friday night.
strawberry rhubarb pie.
never, no never any chocolate. but you would eat that french silk pie i learned how to make.
seeing someone be a friend to my parents, to my dad. seeing my dad be a friend.
"HI" -- it was ear-splitting.
that some people just turn up married.
japanese apple chewing gum.
that you believed in me. you believed in my writing. i was in the single digits, and you wanted to read it. you gave me double digits of hours of your time, reading my writing on lined notebook paper. you filled the margins. you made me believe somehow it mattered. it was okay to share. you gave me triple digits of pages upon pages of books about writing. you gave me writing assignments. you gave me your cheers and never stopped. i write every word, in part, for your honor.
i remember how much you missed her, and wished you could talk to her, and i think sometimes, maybe you pretended i had something to do with her. if you kept me, it'd be like having a tie back ... or hope for the future. i think your hopes came true.
the time with your babies, i love those babes like my own. such deep love. such a gift. do they remember?
foo fighters -- you always played it for the crying babies. you knew what to do.
then there were years and years and years of breaking. the years broke me and you. you knew what broke us. we knew what broke you. the pieces just unraveled and it was so, so unfair. but you were always there, somewhere. and my kiddish way, i hope i was always there, too.
oh those years were dark. those years ... for love and squalor.
emails bright and light and emails dark and letters and postcards and sometimes "HI!"
one day it was almost all coming to a halt forever. but it wasn't time yet. i sent a word, i didn't know, i just sent a word. it stopped the halting, thank God. it couldn't end that way, not like that.
then from above there came hope and there was light and love a complete, ravishing, beautiful thing that turned your life from turmoil to sheer, unadulterated joy. such a marvelous thing to witness.
a moment of silence for this beautiful phase. hallow it.
two and a half months have passed. i read the word.
i stumbled. i disbelieved. i collapsed. i screamed. i said no, no, no, no. for what felt like hours. for what felt like days. just swimming in rejection of this reality that altered the only reality i've ever known.
i've never known a reality without you running through. i never will.
i still wait. i wait for what you might say. i wait for recognition that i am accepted and applauded for who i really am. for what i really have to say. no pretensions. even if it wasn't what you would be or do or say. i wait for you to turn up.
i still do, i can't lie that every time my phone rings a number i don't know, i think of you. i think it might all be a cruel joke or just a bad, bad dream finally coming to an end. i answer to the stranger but i never hear that "HI!" not this side.
i wonder sometimes if you knew how much you meant to the person i have become? to all of us. did we let you know enough in life? i don't think i can even build the pyramid of words that would tell you now that it's too late, there's no way you knew while there was still time.
but o, how i have loved you. i have loved you with something unique. something like friendship. something like family. something completely other.
i wanted you to see my baby. i thank God you knew he was coming before you took your rest. i hope we heaped happiness upon happiness for you in the end.
i must, desperately, believe that i will see you again, and speak with you again, and tell you all it meant. and by then you will know. oh how i wish you would read this one last writing. and write in the margins. write that it's good, and it's okay, you of all people understand.