Your voice has faded from my memory.
I’m always a little jealous when people say things like, “I can still hear her voice” when they talk about you.
“Can you?” I want to say. “I can’t.” Though they tell me I sound like you.
You know how in movie flashbacks when the daughter or son have those full-color visions of holding hands with their mom, glancing up and seeing her face looking down? I can’t see that. Though they tell me I look like you.
I do have pictures that I am grateful for. You, in all kinds of situations just being your awesome self.
I wish I had just one video though. I would wear it out.
I’d love to see you animated and hear you laugh. I want see the way your hair flew in the wind and the way you moved.
I wish so much that I could be in one of those rooms you lit up like people say. Just one more time.
I didn’t know it was the last chance I’d get. Each thing that you did and said, I thought I’d see you do or hear you say a thousand more times.
I remember that I used to see you in dreams. Real honest-to-goodness dream visions and you would talk to me and sit with me. It went on for weeks after you died. I thought I was wishing those dreams into existence.
I would wake up and write poems that I’d never share because I didn’t want anyone to know I was still hurting. Because maybe, I should have gotten over it by then, in my teenage mind.
I’m much older now and I don’t care who knows my heart. And I don’t care if they think it shouldn’t still be broken. It’s been broken for forever and scarred over a thousand times.
But I still went to bed each night hoping that I’d see you while I slept. And you’d talk to me when my mind wasn’t trying to shut out the pain of losing you. That’s when I could really listen. I was never defensive in our secret dream talks.
Then, one day you stopped visiting me in my dreams. And your voice and your realness faded away from my memories.
I am a little jealous of the people who got to know you as an adult. Those people remember you well.
I bet you gave the best advice and listened when they talked and kept the secrets they asked you to. I am more than a little jealous that I didn’t get to be your friend.
I’ve tried to work it out so that I didn’t miss you this way. I have tried not to need you. But thoughts of you are always there, because you’re not.
And when I had a daughter and I realized that she was my whole heart, I suddenly felt that I knew more about you. We finally had something in common that I could touch and see and hear again.
When I realized that nothing would ever stop me from holding on to her. Nothing would ever stop me from saving her if she needed me, that’s when I knew those dreams were the best you could do. And you gave them to me for as long as you could.
And maybe, I really won’t ever have another one.
But I can’t accept that I also have to forget. Maybe I can’t touch you again. Maybe I’ll never hear your voice. But I am absolutely going to hold out hope that somewhere in the aging and forgetful part of my subconscious your voice exists and I’ll hear it again.
So, if I could just have another one of those vivid vision-like awesome dreams, where you come and sit beside me and hold my hand for a little while, I promise I won’t forget this time. I’ll commit every piece of you to memory and hold you there the way you deserve to be remembered.
– Love, Cook