There are times in life when there is someone and then in a quick, flashing moment, there isn’t. We cannot measure the days of the ones we love, we cannot know the moment a person will close the door to your life. In those times passed, the moments of grieving seem to never stop. A year has passed since you died and a hole that can never be filled is left gaping.
I remember our lunch dates that seemed to be weekly when we had to take Grandma to the doctors. We would walk to Fountain Bleu and you’d read the specials at the front. Grandma told me you were a picky eater. We could never leave until you made sure to give the tip to the waitress directly.
I miss your phone calls and how you’d talk about anything and everything. I regretted not answering when I could and listened to your voicemails that have long been deleted. I wish I still had one even if it was just you calling to check up on how I was doing at college.
I’ve never been able to get over your passing. It’s been a deep pit rooted so far in me as if I lost a piece of myself. In a way, I did. You had so much influence on me in my life from raising me to me eventually raising you in a way. We talked about the Beatles, how you loved George because he was the quiet one, Paul was the cute one, and John was the bad boy. I never got tired of you repeating about how you found a dead body in the room next to yours and another one a year later. If only you knew you’d be joining them so soon, would you have lived life differently?
Grandma is alone now. She sees my mom and dad twice a day to take her blood pressure. She has nurses and physical therapists to help her with walking. She misses your walks to Dollar Tree and the liquor store or 7-11 to get lottery tickets. 5-0-8 a number you always played because I told you those numbers when I was 8 or so. Grandma liked to play our birthdays. Then you’d stop at Wendy’s and get some lunch and walk back. I’ll always remember you two stealing my fries.
I always wonder how you’d be during the pandemic. Would you be cursing the government? Talking about George Floyd? Would you still be walking around town with grandma, probably talking about not having bingo anymore? What would your days look like?
I sit here and think about you. Not a day goes by where I don’t look at your picture taped above my computer. You’re posed next to Grandma from Christmases long ago. It doesn’t seem real that it’s been an entire year since you’ve passed. I feel like I was a different person then looking over at you in the hospital pretending my life wasn’t in shambles. I didn’t know what was to come, where I would be, who I would be with.
So much has changed.
You’d be happy I’m back with my friends. I know you would rant with me about those circumstances. You’d be even happier to know I’m dating someone that I’ve loved for a long time and thought I’d never get the chance to see again. You may not get to have lunch with him, but I talk about you a lot so don’t worry I’ll fill him in over time.
I haven’t forgotten you. Goodbye, I love you, Aunt Pat.