There is not one day that goes by she doesn’t slip through my mind. Quiet. Soft. I hear her voice. Her laugh. Some days her presence is gentle. A reminder. “I’m here.” A brush against the arm or cheek.
Other days, she is heavy and warm, like a blanket around my shoulders. A hug that won’t end.
And some days I find myself searching for her. Whispering into the wind. Knowing she’s there, but unable to feel her. See her. Hear her. Anxious for that moment when she reassures me she is okay. It’s okay.
But it isn’t okay.
She would’ve celebrated her 32nd birthday today. And what tumbles through my mind is mixed-up and unpredictable: she weighed 7 pounds 11 oz. 7-11. Like the convenience store. Her favorite color was black. She loved cats. Lots of cats. We used to shop at Yesterday’s Disc when she came to town to visit, buying old CDs and jamming them into the car stereo as soon as we reached the parking lot-DeeLite, The Cure, Jane’s Addiction. She disliked the sun and once when we all went to Cheney lake, she sat under a scrawny tree, her hippie-skirt tucked under her Doc Martens, and sipped a soda. An eccentric, young figure surrounded by sun-worshipping, half-naked water revelers. And she danced to Classic Girl at her wedding.
I’ve learned to comfort others by explaining they will never be whole, not ever. Why lie? That time does not heal all wounds. Not this wound. That you live differently. You learn to live with the hole in your heart. You make it through each day thankful for those moments, those brushes, those hugs of memories the brain and soul and heart will never let go.
Happy birthday, Andrea.
Such a classic girl.