For D’Arcy: a list

If you are reading my blog regularly or semi-regularly this month (thank you!), you may have noticed that I’ve had a tough week. I know this makes several heavy posts in a row, but I suppose some weeks are like that, and these are the moments that are resonating with me. Thanks for hanging in there with me. I’ve been noticing plenty of sunshine even through this gray; I promise to share it soon. 

For D’Arcy – a list

I remember

  • You walked onto the frozen canal wearing only a thin – but very fashionable – shirt and a light jacket. Your mother muttered to me, “He runs hot. He has always run hot. I worry about him.” I thought it was sweet that she worried about a nearly-grown man. Surely you knew if you were cold?
  • The nurse called from the hospital, “He said to tell you he is fine. He told us that you are pregnant. He’s worried that you’ll be upset.” I was at work. You were not fine. I was upset. I still don’t know why you asked them to call me and not your brother. I was worried, you hot-headed boy.
  • We stood just outside the movie theatre near those stairs, the hot sun shining through the big windows, illuminating us. You said, “It must be so incredible to be growing a life inside you.” I was heavy and hot. “Not so incredible, just exhausting,” I grumbled, but you still had a look of wonder on your face. Or maybe I’ve added that.
  • Andre hung up the phone and momentarily filled the doorway, saying, “My brother is dead.” And then he crumpled. It was March. It was cold.

I can no longer remember

  • The last time I saw you.
  • What you cooked that night we came over for dinner.
  • What happened after that first phone call from the hospital. You stayed with us, right? Surely you stayed with us.
  • If you ever came inside our new house.
  • If you ever touched my pregnant belly.
  • If you ever felt your nephew kick.

It’s been 10 years. Even the most solid things are melting away. Is it a memory or a photograph? A story someone told? A detail I added to comfort myself? I can’t remember anymore.

I can’t remember.

slice-of-life_individual

 

Slice of Life, Day 23, March 2018

Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful month of inspiration.

16 thoughts on “For D’Arcy: a list

  1. I remember the day my brother-in-las died. And the day he rescued us from soggy floors and leaky windows— three hurricanes in a row had water in every bedroom, floors wrecked. He flew down from Connecticut and spend a four-day weekend fixing and laying tile— grouting the lines until early morning hours. Thank you for bringing him back to me for a moment this afternoon. Peace and comfort be with you .

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  2. Such a poignant slice. I love how you crafted it. I wonder how some memories or parts of a memory of those we love can be so vivid and yet others are veiled by a fog. I wonder, do I shroud some in a fog because it softens the pain, the missing? As I read your “remember” and “don’t remember” lists, I thought of my two brothers– one who died when we were so young, one who died more recently– one in an airplane crash, one after a long fight with Parkinson’s. I treasure memories of them… sometimes I hold them to myself, sometimes I share them with others. And the missing never goes away.

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  3. This is a beautiful slice. It speaks to your relationship with your brother-in-law and your struggles of remembering and forgetting. “Or maybe I’ve added that.” This line stood out to me. Thinking of you. ❤️

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  4. Memory is a tricky thing! There are many memories I have that I fear are just made up stories. This especially happens when I am reminiscing with a friend or sibling. I want to assume that everyone else is remembering everything incorrectly, but sometimes it must be me. Sorry for the loss of your brother-in-law.

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  5. Some memories fade, some get reinvented and some just haunt. The haunting ones stay with us, mold us, strengthen and weaken us, they are us. You keep your brother in law with you by hanging on to your memories. I enjoyed reading your post, it made me think about the memories that haunt me, and that is important.

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  6. Sorry that you’re going through this. I know those days very well, and I can definitely relate to the almost desperate reaching for memories of my daughter, who I never thought of as hot-headed, though certainly impulsive. I also know your mother-in-law’s feeling, “I worry about him.” You probably know this poem, but another slicer linked to it today, so it seems like I was meant to pass it on. https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/kindness It seems to fit your entry today.

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  7. Just wondering out loud (in writing?)…maybe it’s okay that you don’t remember the smaller details, as long as you continue to remember the person. This was a heavy slice, but so very poignant and definitely filled with love. That’s okay that some posts are like that. I like to think that writing is therapeutic for me, so writing the difficult slices also helps to make me feel a little lighter each time. Thank you for sharing this!

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