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i hate crying. i don’t cry. ever. i won’t. i am strong. i tell myself this while i walk down the middle aisle of the Church, but i can feel the gentle tears glide down my cheeks and dissolve on my lips, someone offers me a tissue, but i politely decline, although we both know i need it. i peek over the edge of her baby blue casket, and slowly i begin to see her this way. – but suddenly i am no longer a young woman. i am her strawberry blonde baby girl, i am holding her hand and kissing her cheek and baking cookies shaped like hearts, she is teaching me my abc’s and all the colors of the rainbow while she brushes my hair and grandpa willie watches wheel of fortune…


But no, that doesn’t last too long. i am looking at her now, laying there peacefully, as if taking a nap before Church. With her ruby red lipstick and pearls on her neck, she is dressed in her Sunday best. She’s beautiful, and i love her, and all i want her to do is wake up. to step down from the altar and into our pew which we’ve shared so many times before… but she is still sleeping. and i am really crying. it feels uncomfortable, almost imaginary. i whisper “i miss you” because that’s what you’re supposed to say when it hurts too much to say “i love you.” i don’t like to cry very much, i avoid it as much as possible. it makes me feel weak, but i give up on being strong and my eyes feel like they’re drowning by the time i sit back down. someone begins a prayer, and i have to blink because suddenly the small Church is a magnificent basilica, and the words are spoken by angels, and all i can hope for is for her to be home.





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