I walk along the cold marble stones with names engraved on my way over to my family. They all gather around one in particular. People were crying and holding each other tight in their arms saying everything was going to be okay. I start to wonder to myself if they are telling the truth or lying to mask their own sorrow and grief. It starts to rain and I drop to my knees by her grave as everyone runs to the car to shelter themselves from the rain and their own pain. I stay there and run my fingers along her stone. Carrie Koepsell, a mother, sister, daughter, and grandmother. My mother tries to pull me away and out of the storm. I can't leave... not yet. It starts to rain harder and my mom makes another attempt. I act like I can't hear her because this is my last moment I have. She gives up and heads to the car in retreat. My curls are falling out and my white dress is covered in mud. I hear a voice calling to me, and for a moment I believe it's her, but it's just my mom calling from the car. I place ten pussy willows on her grave. One for each year she has been gone, and I head to the car. Next year there will be one extra for eleven years, but for now, I can only wish she will return. Then I awake.
July 19, 2011