I need you. More than I ever have before. Your bright eyes. Your hysterical laugh. Your wild white hair. My hand enclosed in yours. It was all the comfort I ever needed.
Do you remember?
I used to run across that green lawn like it was the entire world in one place. I’d get scratched by the sharp foliage of the wildflowers, their pink petals bright as they lazily rested against the brick border of the house. I’d swing around that musty lamppost atop the cube of crimson stones. I’d plant my feet and hang with one arm, waiting for the rain to fall so I could dance and sing while the light would glow against a grayish scene. You would watch me from the cement porch, nestled in your white plastic chair. You would smile as you’d call out to me to explore different things–from a blade of grass to a bug on the step. You would smile because, though I was alone, you loved that I could love the world even just by myself.
Do you remember?
You would stop everything you were doing just to make sure I was fed. You’d make the fluffiest pancakes doused in syrup and topped with a thick square of butter. You would have chai and toast for yourself–the warmed bread slathered in orange marmalade from the King Kelley jar. You used to help me get the Lucky Charms from atop the fridge and you’d laugh when all I wanted was to get the box’s prize instead of eat. You never doubted my ability to make a sandwich either; you would let a little five year-old make herself lunch because you were proud of the fact she could. I always forgot the mayo and was consistently confused on why they’d taste different when you would make them.
Don’t you remember?
How about when you’d watch t.v? You hardly spoke a word of English, yet you never missed an episode of Days of Our Lives. And when I would come sit with you, you would hand me the remote and tell me to pick a show. The cartoons would come alive–the animated characters vividly adventuring along the episode’s quest. You watched it. You were dazzled by the moving pictures and you would playfully gasp every time Pikachu used thunder-shock or Scooby and Shaggy were running from a masked phantom. Sometimes you would just sit there and play hand-games with me, clapping and laughing every time we would get it wrong. See, you gave your time like you had forever. And I was convinced you really did.
I was the little girl you loved. I was spunky, outspoken, full of energy and very creative. I’m actually not so different now, just a few feet taller and more susceptible to heartbreak and whatever more of reality’s tomfoolery. But I’m still her. She’s still me. And I never stop thinking about you. You protected me. You loved me. You knew me before I ever knew myself. And now, the only being I can accept, is someone who can do the same–who knows me in the moments that I’ve forgotten. You are why I believe in the impossible.
I can’t forget.
All the times you slipped me cash when mom wasn’t looking. Every time you would pray–your brown beads delicately adorning your wrinkly hands as you’d sit across from the crackling fireplace. The smell of incense every morning; you would carry the softly burning stick throughout the house until finally blessing the picture of Baba Ji.There was the time we strung over a dozen bead necklaces while sitting on the copper carpet in the middle of the hallway. And there are all the times you told me not to cry, as I sat on your lap with your palms wiping away my tears. I’d lean into you and set my cheek against your brown cable-knit sweater while the cotton of your suit concealed me from the dangers of the world.
Do you remember the day my hand nearly slipped from yours and you squeezed when your words couldn’t say to not let go? Well, that’s how I feel every day. I can’t let go but I have nothing to hold on to, except for the memories of who we were. I feel it every day. The pain of not having you. And when something bad or something frivolous happens, I cling to those memories even more. You are why I believe in the impossible.
I need you still. I’ll always need you. And that…that will be impossible to forget.