Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I hear you loud and clear


I was 10 years old when you left and knew I would have to play over the memories in my head again and again in order to remember them forever.  Singing Billy Joel, the snow on the roof of the bank, the drive to the airport, Taco Bell dates, painting the bird bath, the smell of your house, the sound of your laughter,  talks about my Grandpa who I never met, sleeping in bed next to you, OJ running from the cops, that creepy dark hallway, the fish tank in the living room, the burnt orange carpet, beans from the can, your sassy red hair.  I've tried so hard to remember because I need you.  18 years has been a long time to get along without you, but get along I have.  I am not sure many people knew how special our bond was.  Great Aunt and Niece... it's not to be expected.  Your Birthday was a few weeks ago, so(as I do many times a year) I bought a bunch of fake flowers to leave with you.  Some sort of coral and yellow flowers that were almost a little tacky, but I am pretty sure you, like me, would love them.  I didn't make it on your Birthday.  Then the next day passed and I hadn't been by.  On the 3rd day I ran errands and while I was out, I saw more women with short red hair in one afternoon than I've ever seen in my life.  They all looked me right in the eye and smiled. I knew right away it was you.  I could feel you. You were never one to keep quiet, of course you send the biggest, loudest sign possible: A bunch of women who resemble you... well played. You were telling me I needed to come, to sit by you, to spill my guts to the stone I've been talking to all these years.





















     

As I walked down the path that leads me to you,
I squinted to see what kind of flowers were in your vase...
light pink.  Light pink? I laughed, thinking you had seen me pick out flowers that were much more your taste and were begging me to rectify someone else's sweet gesture of pink flowers.  I imagined your face when those pink flowers were placed in your vase, scrunched up as if you had just tasted something sour.
I sat down in front of your name and spoke softly.  Some new words, some old.  Many I love yous, many I miss yous & then I reached my hand out to trace your name with my fingers.  I have done this so many times that I am sure my fingers have rubbed away some of the gold paint that covers the letters.  I have been doing this since my first visit here. I leaned in closely to the stone and whispered "Thank you for being here.  Please don't stop sending me signs."   I kissed my hand and touched your name once more and then I turned and walked away.  As I made my way back down the path I stopped every few feet to pick up loose flowers and distribute them to empty vases. As I knelt down one last time to scoop up a lone bright pink faux peony, I could see from the corner of my eye that someone else was walking up the opposite end of the sidewalk.  I placed the flower where it belonged and continued walking down the path to where my car was parked.  As the person and I grew nearer, I caught a glimpse of something that gave me chills.  Bright red hair poking out from underneath a sun hat.  The woman's eyes found mine as she passed and smiled sweetly.  In her hands were the same slightly tacky flowers I had just placed in your vase.  I turned and looked back at the stone I had just had a full on conversation with, then my eyes shot to the sky.  "Well played", I whispered as I walked away, "I hear you loud and clear."

9 love notes:

Lydia Thompson said...

beautiful. ♥

House 54 said...

By far one of my favorite posts you've ever written. I'm a big believer in signs as well and the term "coincidence" has long left my vocabulary. If I've learned anything over the years through those I have lost, it's that they're never as far away as you think. Beautiful story, Lacey! So glad you shared it! I feel honored to read it. :)

melifaif said...

This is so sweet. Just about made me cry....

Nadine Hightower said...

very sweet but did that woman steal your flowers???

Impulsive Addict said...

Wow. What a beautifully written post. Thanks for linking it up with us!

Shawn said...

Welcome to TTUT, thanks for linking up such a beautiful story!

kenli said...

so sweet. i definitely cried - what a special relationship you had.. and yes, it isn't very common, so that is amazing. love you!

Sarah B. said...

What a sweet and beautiful story, Lacey. It must be such a blessing knowing she's still there with you. Lovely writing as well. Great post.

Lauren said...

I love this. I love when the signs are so loud and clear. Mawmaw does that for me and it really keeps things in perspective. I remember when Aunt Betty passed and the time thereafter. She must have been a great fiery redheaded woman! <3 you

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