"Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life."
"Johnny said once, Eating with someone is really intimate
and it’s stuck with me. So I decline dates at restaurants
because he’s right and it’s too soon and, anyway,
maybe I’ll hate how these long-necked boys
who don’t know how to hold a fork eat. I’ve written
a lot of things for him, Johnny, more than he knows about.
I am 22 now so naturally I miss everyone.
I am 22 so I roll my eyes when someone says love.
Dad has the air conditioner all the way up but I’m still
waking up sweating. My brother has taken to degrading
women in that casual way that boys do—flick of the shoulder,
dark-eyed, he is my father in miniature, but I love him,
as sisters do, even if I don’t agree with his mouth.
I wanted this poem to go somewhere important
but I keep looking over my shoulder. I hate mornings.
I keep spilling my guts out to strangers on the internet,
and this is not the first time I waxed my legs for a boy.
We’re all fighting over who we’re going to take home
and I’m still pretending I can play the clarinet.
Everyone keeps complimenting my nail beds.
Remember mood rings? Mine stays black."
"Please tell me
I’m not as forgettable
as your silence
is making me feel."
"Be careful who you make memories with. Those things can last a lifetime."
"Saddest moment? How am I supposed to choose between losing my parents and seeing my friends die in Vietnam? I don’t categorize those things. Listen, a person is like a rubber band ball. We’ve all got a lot of bad rubber bands, and a lot of good rubber bands, and they’re all wrapped up together. And you’ve got to have both types of bands or your rubber band ball ain’t gonna bounce. And no use trying to untangle them. You know what I’m saying?"
Like the others who posted recently I’ve followed you since your xanga. Everytime you post about your parents my heart breaks. My heart goes out to you.
p.s.you are an amazing writer
To Fifteen Year Old Mother-Less Daughters on Sunday, May 11th (And Everyday)
- The first display of ‘Mother’s Day’ cards will always sting the strongest. Do not cry. Bite your tongue and remember her favorite ice-cream flavor and buy a card. Date it and hand write her a letter detailing some of the things she missed this year.
- It is going to be easy to feel like a missing puzzle piece today. You will quickly learn that the most important thing in this life is to tell the people you love that you love them while they can hear you.
- Please know — It is her. Whether it be a song, or a butterfly that landed on your shoulder, a license plate with her initials, a woman at the supermarket with her scent…It’s her. Do not even question it. It is not a coincidence. You are right. It is her.
- There is no answer to the question “Why?” It took me five years to believe that. You will never make sense of this. You are amongst a silent sisterhood of billions just like you… overcoming silent battles as they attend their first doctors appointment without Mom, who shift seats at the dinner table to fill her spot, who finish a season of a show that you watched the premiere of together.
- Write. Your words are weapons kept in a safe until you let them breathe freely. Your daughter is going to wonder how you got through this. The first entry will be the hardest. Write about what she loved, what she ate, what she looked like when she was happy. Write about things you wish you had done different. Your favorite vacation. Small nameless moments. I can promise you it will unclog your skull. I can promise you your future self will thankful for it. I beg you — Let your head breathe. It gave me great peace to fill pages upon pages upon journals upon blogs with grief. Write.
- You will lose yourself defrosting chicken for the first time in your college apartment. You will sob on the kitchen floor with a mess of half raw - half cooked chicken and curse God for taking her. Let yourself go. Sit on the floor of the shower and cry until your insides are dry.
- Be gentle to yourself. You have internal bleeding right now, honey. For the next year, offload needy friends, reduce the volunteer stuff, take on only a bare minimum of responsibilities. Seriously. For a year. I wish I had been more selfish.
- The big days will hurt. The college graduations, the birthdays, the first boyfriends and first job acceptances. But I warn you of the small days. The days you’re riding the bus and an overwhelming cloud of black that engulfs you for the day for no reason at all. The moments you can not bring yourself to laugh with friends. The moments you know she would appreciate the sky right then. Some days will hurt for no reason.
- Be hard on yourself. Whenever you feel you are tempted towards self pity or can’t remember your ring size or feel you are not living up to the person she taught you to be — be hard. Try to mirror her resilience, her courage, her grace. Remember you are now living your life for two. Remember her life made you strong. You are her soldier.
- She will inhabit you. After you stop wanting to call her. After you stop wanting to tell her about the childhood friend you ran into or to ask her how to de-frost chicken. After you almost don’t even think to miss her because you’re so used to not having her there, you gradually will realize that she inhabits you. You will see her face in the mirror. You will hear her laugh in your cackle and her sneeze in yours. Her love never, ever leaves you, and she is part of everything you do – not watching from above, but watching from within. She’s in you, honey. She is you.
- It will never not hurt. Whether you are eighteen or eighty that mama shaped hole will always ache. I wish that someone had told my fifteen year old self this.
- Celebrate her influence. Do not dwell in her absence. Eat her favorite chocolate today, listen to her favorite songs, plant flowers, sweeten your day in your beautiful mothers memory.
- Choose Joy. My momma taught me that one. The loss of your mother does not define you. Choose joy, every-time. And when strangers tell you that you are strong,
you tell them that they haven’t met your mother.