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Remembering Mary

By , Walpole, MA
I didn’t cry when you died.

I stopped myself. I didn’t cry for years after that. I wish I did cry for you. I do miss you. True, I didn’t know you too well, but I was used to you. You were part of my home. You held lots of memories for me.

I remember being afraid of your toy poodle, and learning to laugh about that later. I remember double dutch-ing and getting along with the family.I remember pretending you were related to the actress with your last name. I remember all the chalk and bike games that your driveway made possible. I don’t remember ever knowing who owns those rocks, but I imagine you did. I remember calling it Mary’s house and I still do. That may never become merely a memory.

I remember visiting you. I don’t remember where but I remember asking questions and that white building. I remember the hallway and passing the nurse, and walking into your room with the yellow flowers. I remember my mom saying you weren’t doing well. I remember her trying to tell me not to miss school for the funeral. I remember wanting to skip school.

I remember the tears filling the back of my eyes and I remember how badly I wanted to cry. I remember looking at my mom and seeing no tears, and the same with my dad. I remember blinking and swallowing my sadness. I hid those tears and I didn’t let anyone see them. I remember singing the song, Be Not Afraid. I remembering finding it every time I went to church for years after that. I remember the number being something like 435 …

I remember watching my mother cry. It was the first time I saw that. I don’t remember if my father cried because I could not look away from my mother. The sobs wracked her frame and the tears poured down her face. She looked at me as if she was afraid to let me see. I remember her hand clenching the tightly held tissue in front of her face.
I remember trying to comfort her
by crying with her. I remember realizing that now was the time to cry. I remember looking for the tears. I remember not being able to find them. I remember being guilty about not crying, because I did miss you.

I remember saying I’d hold onto your paper forever. I remember losing it. I remember your daughter, with her blonde hair. I remember her offering something of yours, which my mother declined. I remember not understanding why she didn’t accept what you gave to us.

I remember my mom taking a Mary statue from your house. I find that very fitting.
I remember the Mary statue with peeling paint in your yard. I haven’t thought of that in years. I wonder what happened to it. I remember my mom telling me that only family went to the graveyard. I remember your casket. I hate that word. I remember the men carried it by me.

I remember the chocolate bunnies every Easter.
I remember your name in church.
I remember feeling sad and confused.
I remember your house and you little Christmas tree that I was shocked to discover was a small fake tree in your window.
I remember the way your house and you smelled. I remember wrinkling
my nose at it. Sorry.
I remember not crying for you.
I remember feeling bad for that.
I remember the tears I had.

I remember you.





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