Every so often, I write a blog post that calls back to the title that is displayed on my blog. Capturing Life’s Chapters, it reads. When I started this blog, it didn’t have much sense of direction. All I knew was that I had just changed my name, and needed a fresh start on the internet. A place to share what I’m going through, what my dreams are, and to reflect on where I’ve been.
Today is one of those posts, because today friends, is in a way, the first day of the rest of my life.
The day in all did not come with much pomp or circumstance. I haven’t even left the house, because I’ve just been mostly going back and forth between cleaning my room and posting about the release all across the internet. It’s been a lot of staring at my screen, and feeling like I’m shouting out into a void. But the congratulations from friends and people that did find their way to me where all so heartfelt and genuine, that you’d think from the look on my face that I landed on the NYT list. My first book came in with a whisper, but it was a whisper full of love and kindness and excitement, and I will forever be grateful that my journey into publishing began this way. With unexpected surprises, with unbridled enthusiasm, and even in some cases, making people realize they could love poetry when they never had before.
I’m so beside myself with joy that I really and truly do not know what else to say. My heart is just so very, very full.
I know that ahead lies uncharted territory. I have a whole new world to navigate before me. New stories, new adventures, and new perils as well. I know it won’t be easy, but I feel a kind of ready that I have never felt before. Just a thousand thank yous to every person who helped get me to today, and here’s to whatever wonders await for tomorrow and beyond.
I should probably get some rest after such an emotional day, but y’all know me. 😉 I have something brewing, and as my favorite GIF to use for writing days always says…
I am nearly 5,256,000,000 miles from who I was when you last walked on this Earth with me.
I am nearly 5,256,000,000 miles into the jorney of learning to live without you both.
But unlike orbits about the sun, some things cannot be quantified.
I cannot know how many times I’ve cried or how many times I’ve asked God why or how many times I’ve smiled or how many times living has felt worth while.
There are things we cannot know and there are things we can, but one thing that’s been a certainty, is that when a pen’s in my hand, I am whole.
I know that in my blood flows an infinity of ideas, emotions, and ink.
Though my parents are gone, the legacy they have given me is a heart that can’t stop bleeding, but the ink that has from it flowed has helped me understand and know that my reason here is to write words and tell stories.
I wish they were still here, but their absence molded me into who I am. I am a well of ink and hope giving the world all I can…
When Mother’s Day rolls around,
when Father’s Day comes about,
when their birthdays pass,
when their death day trauma lasts,
I am reminded over and over…
What’s your mother’s madien name?
What’s your father’s middle name?
What’s your given birth name? Questions that haunt me over and over…
Are you going home for break?
I’ll be at my parent’s till late. I made them an anniversary cake!
Phrases from friends that plague me
as I am reminded over and over that
I have no house,
nor parents left
and there is nothing I can do.
You can’t understand it
unless it happens to you.
Loss doesn’t happen and then go away.
It is felt eternally, every single day
in the smallest ways,
over and over and over and…
Dad ruffles my hair and tells me that he’s proud of me. He reminds me to keep my feet like Bilbo told Frodo because we share a love of literature and adventure. His smile crinkles, the footprints of crows at his eyes edges from surviving so many losses, yet still living. He hugs me. I’m so happy…
Mom chokes back tears and gives me just the right glimmering card that somehow perfectly and elegantly articulates how much she cares about me. I wipe the tears from my eyes, (I am this sentimental because of her) and promise to call her every night so she might vicariously live every college experience that she never got to have through me. She hugs me. I’m so happy…
These alternate realities
I built for myself from
crumbled could have beens
and noxious never wills
are all I have.
My college years
were not marked with
their loving hugs
and literary encouragements.
My college years
were stained with
my desperate arms
and empty mailboxes
and perpetual disappointments.
I survived without them
but the scars run too deep.
So to function,
these alternate realities
have become longed for treasures
that I keep.
They were there for me right when I needed them. They came to the house, came to my room, and sat with me, knowing the silence of my friends was what I needed to drown out the howling happening inside of me.
As family who felt like strangers filtered in and out through the doors all day long with fruit baskets that somehow meant sorry and empty refrains of we’ll be there for you, the friends who were my beyond blood family sat with me, holding me, understanding that silence and their presence and a soft stuffed animal was all I needed to keep me from joining my mother like I so longed to.
I don’t know if it was them or me that said we should go stargazing, but it was the only thing that I wanted to do.
I got into my friend’s car, laying across the back seat by myself. But my friend in the front passenger side reached back a hand through the cracks between the seat and door and held mine the whole way. I held onto him for my life, as I watched a world that no longer made any sense to me fly past out the window.
Some days, I feel like I’m still in that car. Still watching a world that no longer makes sense zipping past me, as I grasp for a hand to hold.
Sprawled on the grass in the Valley beneath monuments and stars I looked skyward, wishing I could fall up into heaven and find my mother waiting for me.
At home the next morning, I awoke to my friends all still there. Did I dream it? I asked them.
They made us wait in the nice room with the cozy chairs and paintings on the walls,
as if these trappings could calm away the chaos of hearing the words I’m so sorry, we did everything we could, she didn’t make it…
Waiting for my sister to arrive at the hospital broke me only further. I had always tried to keep it together for her. But this time I couldn’t. There was nothing left of me to hold on to.
When we got home from the hospital, the rain was at last slowing down and the sky became the kind of golden rose that it does after a fleeting yet powerful storm.
I looked up at the splendor, and tears returned, as I raged that my mother no longer stood on Earth with me. Yet, I was grateful at least that she had been welcomed home to such a glorious, resplendent sky.