I came home last night to a letter. I came home last night because it was three years ago that she took her own life. The letter was from one of the recipients of her organ donation. He told my family a little about himself, about his family, his children and grandchildren.
My brother and I were her children and we talked about missing her. Missing time. This man got more time. He told us how grateful he was and how he thought about our family every day. But he doesn’t know us.
He doesn’t know that three years ago I got on a greyhound bus and came home for the first time since starting school that August. I was excited to see my family and my boyfriend. I remember my mom picking me up from the bus stop; I remember the hugs. Our home, with its sky-blue paint my parents had let me help pick out. The little dogs yapped at our arrival. I remember eating at The Roadhouse, a small burger joint in our tiny town; there was a live band because we’d come on a Saturday. I remember laying in my mom’s bed talking with her about school and boys and all the other things a nineteen-year-old might have.
But what I didn’t know then was that this would be the last time I would do any of these things. It makes me wonder, if I had known would I have done things differently?
He doesn’t know that a twenty-two-year-old girl read his letter and looked kindly on his gratitude then cried. Cried for the ten years he had on her already. Cried for the grandchildren that she never got to meet.
When my mom died I was left an orphan. My dad had never been in my life and my mom was now gone from it too. All my attachments to this world were worn thin. I was angry that this stranger got to see his family grow and flourish while my own time got cut short.
He thanked me.