And then the days became briefer, still.

Mi hermana hermosa,

First Christmas, come and gone; four months to the day of what should have been your 22nd birthday. Can't believe the speed of time these days, nor the space it holds. Or for whom.

Today, down time; tomorrow, tattoos and your house, revisited. Last night we played soccer-tennis out in the well-lit courts of Murdy Park, HB, and now the crown of my head feels like a sore, braided muscle every time I forget not to touch it. (Luckily my thinking hasn't been too affected, so far as I can tell.) It dawned on me and stayed, the knowing that you sh/would have been right there with us--and even so, would likely have refused to play. Like R's board games; or my climbing. Neither your style nor taste, but how unfailingly you stand-right-by to stay connected; interacting and ever-present, yet one step away. Sitting there texting. Giving us as much of yourself as you could, but never crossing the line of your own in-stone boundaries...and all the while loving us for loving what we love. (Why didn't we play more freakin' cards with you, more often?!)

Gabriel's first birthday is coming up, too. January 5th, 2011. Yesterday we celebrated it early so that the California crowd could participate before R and J make their trek back up to Washington. It struck me that he was practically the only kid there, our nephew--and all the rest a-freakin'-dults! (With the exception of Amber's nearly-4-year-old, Aaden, of course.) How it kills me to think that you won't see this first baby of any of our brothers grow up! You who would have bought him the best gifts; taken him to the sickest concerts; made all his friends jealous to have such a gorgeous aunt; snuck him his first fake-id, only to rail him if he dared "misuse" it... He will forever be my gauge, though I know it's not fair: one year further along for him; one more year farther away from you. The older he gets, the younger you'll seem to be. The more he changes, the more you'll stay the same... How sad is this? How unfair?

But I know this is an old story by now, our endless disappointment. What with the days becoming briefer and the time flying by like pennies tarnishing in a koi pond. You're the angel on our tree this year, love. You and a floppy red Santa's hat, that really ought to be pink silk with faux diamonds, sparkling. J's birthday will follow Gabriel's, and then Grandma's (who'll soon get her first tattoo at 80-something, she thinks...a bow, of course), and then Dad's and A's and yours, and then all the rest of ours. One by one, delineating the year in the only way we know how--by counting, one day at a time. They say this year will be the hardest; I'm pretty sure they'll all be the same.

-L (12/27/10)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure they'll all be the same too.