Pearly teeth, and the way she used to bite her tongue sometimes when she smiled,
Laughter that charmed my saddest moods,
Hugs never ceasing.
She was a beacon of love for me, in all of its beautiful forms,
Always pushing me to succeed in everything I loved,
Showing me what passion really was.
But oh, her smile….
And the way she left the pink album and bracelet for me on her bedroom table,
In it were pictures of me and her together, all of goodness and love.
She was compiling the moments for me, so that when I grew older I would always remember,
That she cherished me like none other,
Loved me like none other,
Showed me her greatest vulnerabilities like none other,
Was completely raw, beautifully bare selflessness,
The way she bent down to gaze into my eyes after she tied my curls up,
And held my shaking hands as she taught me how to roller skate for the first time,
And wiped my tears even when I was being sulky, and
Took me into her room, when no one else was allowed.
When they lay her in the casket, my grandmother gently asked me if I wanted to see her face one last time. I said yes, but my feet shook and my lip trembled. I walked to the doorway of the room in which she lay, and caught the smallest glimpse of her stunning countenance on the white sheets.
But I couldn’t bear to see her face anymore,
I ran back from the door into her sisters arms, she stroked my head and whispered to me that it was okay to cry.
What a painful knot seizes my throat when I finger these pictures,
Because with all the love and laughter in your eyes,
I remember the flicker of sadness that clutched your eyes and actions sometimes,
Of regret, confusion, darkness,
And even then, as a child, I wish I could’ve pulled you out,
Reached a hand, saved you from drowning in the chasms of your mind,
The sound of sirens and crying still haunt me to this day.
You were no friend, rather a relation,
But I knew only your face deserved to grace the frame that I keep so hidden. I always pray for you.