a tidal wave of grief.
her familiar physical presence.
those deeply intimate, sister to sister, parent to child, heart to heart things, moments.
playing with her hair.
holding her head when she had a headache.
the scent and feel of her skin.
standing at the bedroom door when she was days old...months old...2 years old...11 years old...20 years old. looking at her. watching her. feeling the deepest and wildest and most indescribable love.
her strong body.
her silly, wise and colorFULL ways.
her hats. [oh, the hats!]
20+ years of herstory and ourstory.
holding her hand.
telling her stories about "when she was little." often late at night before sleep.
reading her "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" every christmas eve.
delighting in her.
not being able to get enough of her.
witnessing the miraculousness of her being.
allowing the tidal wave.
feeling the raw edges of broken openness.
holding both knowing "how this can be" and wondering "how can this be?"
i am wearing bella's hot pink, long sleeve shirt and her light pink, button down sweater and a necklace that i purchased (after her physical death) to honor our relationship.
i reach out to soul*sisters to speak these truths.
i do the laundry.
i go grocery shopping.
i thaw some in the sunshine and warm-ish air.
i listen to music.
i organize photos.
i write letters to january 2009 (thank you!) and february 2009 (hello!).
i drink glasses of water.
i eat the rest of yesterday's pear.
i prepare a bowl of oatmeal.
i whisper, "i love you so much, babe."
i hear her, "i'm right here. i gotcha. i am all over you."
i keep on keepin' on.
i am grateful for this love.