Monday, June 20, 2011

Dear Kelsey Part III

I write to you today, the second anniversary of your death, in a very different place than I did last year.  Both emotionally and physically.  Emotionally, I'm a jumble actually.  Hard to put it into words.  Words that I think you would have understood while you were alive anyway.  Or maybe accepted is the better word.  I've often wondered if, assuming there is an afterlife, we gain more insight, shed from our outer shells and the concerns of the world.  If so, then maybe I can say these things to you, and you will know what I mean without fearing your judgment.  You were hard to talk to a lot of the time, just to be honest.  The Beast did most of your talking.  I wish I had been better at reaching the girl inside.

But, anyway, that's not really how I meant to start off.  I imagine you are aware that we now are all together in Pittsburgh.  We owe this move to all the events of the last couple of years.  And the irony of that strikes me a lot.  But, the house you left was haunted for us.  No one wanted to go upstairs at all.  Even Tum-Tum rarely went there after a while.  All those horrible memories just hang around it, no matter what we did to change up the house.  That's too bad too, because I loved that house.  I looked out into our new backyard last night and remembered how the full moon used to shine onto the pool at night, bathing it in a kind of werelight that I just loved.  Now someone else will see that.

They can have it though because the whole city just carried the weight of the last several years for us.  We would be near places you had lived or worked, or places where we had fought the battle of all the demons inside you, and that is all we could think about.  There was just very little of the city that was not corrupted for us.  I hate that those are the memories we have.  Not so much the memories of Austin, but the memories of you as a young adult.  That there never was a time you could enjoy just being old enough to do things on your own and young enough to enjoy them in the carefree way only budding adults can do.

So, we came here.  The native city of one of the people you held most dear.  I see her often, you know. I love her as you did.  She is truly one of the best people I have ever met.  Marissa loves her too.  And I wonder sometimes what you do or would think of all of that.  Would it make you mad or jealous, or is all of that behind you now?  You know, you had some wonderful friends.  Some of them keep in touch with us.  I wish you had known how much they loved you.  I think The Beast clouded all of that for you.  It kept you from accepting the fact that people loved you because you didn't love yourself.

But anyway, this is an awesome city, regardless of why we are here.  I mean, it has its ugly side like anyplace.  But none of that matters as much as what is right and wonderful about it.  You would love it here, I've said so before.  So, I waffle between allowing myself to be happy because I am where I think I was always meant to be, and guilty because of what it took, what price you paid, to make it happen.

Hard to tell what your dad will think long term of living in the Iron City.  This is so vastly different from Austin, it really is like living in another country.  For me, I'm almost to the point where I feel totally at home here however.  I think if I can just find my way around a little better it would seal the deal, but gradually that is coming.   But, for your Dad, I worry.  Now he's walked away from the only things he's known all his life, and no matter where he is, you're still not there.  I think that's the big difference between us right now.  I'm looking for something, he's just running from something.  I think I said this last year, I wish you could whisper in his ear and tell him to let his sorrow go just a little.  He does not feel your presence or accept that your suffering is over.  He does not believe you are free and in a better place, so that keeps him imprisoned in his sorrow.  It's hard to watch.  It's frightening.  Even without that weight, I'm not sure what he would think of living with all these Yankees, but for right now, I'm not sure it matters to him where he is, he is just so unhappy without you.

For my part, I don't know what to think about where you are.  What happens to us when we die?  Can you tell me?  But would I really want you to?  What if the answer is horrific?  Maybe your dad has the right idea.  Maybe believing that it is just a nothingness is the kindest thing.  These are the weird things I think about these days.

And I think about whether you can forgive me.  I imagine every parent of a lost child wonders that.  But, I know we made so many mistakes as parents.  It's a wonder we did anything right at all.  I think we tried, but it took a while.  I've been thinking lately that it's time for me to start trying to forgive myself.  Allow myself some happiness here.  But, then I think that's not right.  I can't do that until you forgive me first, and how can you?  Would I be able to know if you did?

Just selfishly, these aren't the things I wanted to think about now.  I wanted to be fretting over how I was going to pay for your wedding, and if wearing black and gold as the mother of the bride is too tacky (just kidding, I would do lavender), and becoming a grandmother for the first time.  I hope that all my friends who do wrestle with all of these things know how lucky they actually are.  But, it's not my loss I really worry about.  I don't need to be a grandmother to feel whole.  I need to have both my daughters to feel whole.  But it's the loss of your potential - the amazing person I know you were somewhere beneath the disease - that keeps me weighted down personally.  How do I get past that?

At the end of the second year, things are more muted - I can't think of another word for it - than they were in the past, but not really any more clear or less painful.  I miss you.  I don't miss the disease.  Maybe above all else, I wonder if that's what you can forgive me for.  The fact that I lost sight of you and It as separate things sometimes.  Who were you?  Did I even ever really know?  I hate, just absolutely hate, that I can never find out.

All we ever want for our children is their contentment.  I pray that you are content.


1 comment:

  1. This made me tear up a little. I didn't remember that it was the anniversary today but I hope that you're doing okay.