This April will mark six years since we said goodbye.
I have a hard time grasping that, because in my head, we’re still in the backseat of the car on the way to the hospital. You’re crying and I’m singing our lullaby and trying to stop all of the bleeding. You can’t move very much because you’re in so much pain. Dad is still driving as fast as he reasonably can in Sunday traffic, and I think we all know that this is it.
You’re still beautiful, though. Your eyes are that dark green that just kind of stops time if you stare for too long. The little hair you have is soft and that pretty blonde I always envied. I’m learning to look past the blood in this memory. I’m learning how to remember you and not the scary parts.
See, mom, I’ve had a really hard time forgiving myself. I’ve felt like this was all my fault since the day it happened. I was supposed to be right behind you; supposed to catch you..but I wasn’t and I didn’t. I’ve allowed that guilt to consume me and fuel 90% of my choices since that day. I know that’s not what you would want for me, though.
So, I’m making a choice – to stop running, to stop being afraid, to stop doubting. Since I felt your heart stop, I’ve been running. I haven’t stopped. From person to person, home to school, apartment to apartment, and city to city. I haven’t paused for more than a moment because when I do, that’s when I have to start caring again and that’s when the hurt comes back. I’ve been so afraid to get close to anyone, and that’s not your fault, but I need to get out of the back of that car. I need to wash the blood off my hands and move forward. I need to stop doubting everything I’m capable of because the fact that I am alive still seems to be a miracle to me.
I love you, mom. I love you so much, and I miss you every day. I’m sorry that I couldn’t do more.
In my mind now, though, it’s you and me and no one else and nothing else. It’s nine in the morning and we’re laying in your bed holding hands, talking about life, like we always did. You’re not sick and I’m not scared. It’s just us.
I love you, and I hope that wherever you are, you hear that.