Enchantment to Heartbreak

The words, like a knife, sliced through jagged and uneven. In it’s wake there was irreparable damage and the life I had know would never be the same. The memory of how I learned my cousin was dead is unclear but the word suicide stands out stark and bold. I wasn’t sure I would ever breath again as the wind was knocked out of me so cleanly and the pain began so quickly and sharply.

The memories, once fond, happy and full of life were rendered to a state of doubt and wondering “Did I miss something?” As time has passed I realized the innocence of our childhood was pure. We roamed our grandparents ranch in a pack of cousins bent on discovery and freedom that most kids could never imagine. We grew up together and apart; together so much during the summer at the ranch or at one another’s homes where our lives were “enchanted”; apart during the school year where we lived our “regular” lives.

As we became teenagers and the focus of our life lens changed and shifted to a different perspective. I still cherished our friendship, but after our grandparents died it lacked the enchantment that the ranch brought to us. Boys, friends, places and thrills beyond our age had us traveling down different paths.

Her path must have been so painful and unbearable and I had no idea. Great gaps of time would existed between the occasions we would see each other and then an extraordinary gap and then she was gone. I know I’m not unique in the belief that I could have made a difference, but I’ll never really know, at least not in this lifetime. I loved her and wish I had told her.

Almost thirty years later, the wound is easily opened and will bleed profusely when the surface is disturbed. It still hurts in a place so deep it’s beyond description. Things happen in my life and I wonder how her life would be if she had not chosen to leave. My kids grew and I watched them blossom and find their own lives. I became a grandmother and I get to watch them being kids and growing. I adore and revel in the uniqueness of my family but sometimes I wish  she was here so we could share this beautiful time of life.

If I could go back and change it, I would find a way to save her. Somehow she would want to live because the anguish and heartbreak I, we, have endured is so unending. The weight of it bears down like a wet blanket, heavy and impossible to throw off.

The brightness I always see without fail though is her glorious smile. I imagine after all this time she is surely free and happy now and looks after all of us, praying from her place. I have to believe she’s at peace because I could not bear to believed she wasn’t. Those luminous glimmers make me smile.


RemembeRED writing prompt:

“We all have them. Memories that we wish we could forget…things that we wish we could banish from our minds. Imagine that writing down your worst memory will free you of it.

What is it? – Why does it haunt you? – What could you have done differently?”

Movie Eyes & Nursery Rhymes

Sitting with mommy time is special. I get to snuggle into the cave of her arm as she reads and teaches me. Reading is like a picture I can see behind my eyes like a movie. I smile as I watch and listen. Mommy is like a warm blanket with a familiar smell; I am happy and cozy gathered into the nook of her arm cave, covered in her comfort.

Learning is hard! It makes my head feel jumbly and full when I try to remember the rhyme. I scrunch up my eyes and eye brows so I can see the rhyme with my movie eyes and remember how the words go together. Each time it gets easier. “One two buckle my shoe” and my head starts to feel softer and a little bit cleaned up.

Then mommy surprises me when she puts more words on. “Three four shut the door!”

“I didn’t know there would be more!”

She says “Oh yes there is more”and says the WHOLE rhyme really fast and silly so it’s almost like a dance. I tip my head side to side as she says the silly dancing words and I forget after One two buckle my shoe but silly mommy makes it fun. She does some more teaching and I do more remembering.

Three four shut the door! This time it’s a little easier because I think back to how it felt when I figured out, One two buckle my shoe. I still have to get scrunchy and sometimes my head fills up so far it seems to push out on my ears and eyes, but mommy can tell because I get tired and grumpy. Then we stop for glasses of green Kool-aid and crackers.

Each time more stays in my head. I think,  ‘this is counting!’ and, some words sound the same;  the same but different, like sisters. Two and shoe! Wow! My head isn’t so full this time. I know One two buckle my shoe. Three four shut the door!

“What’s next mommy?”

“Five six pick up sticks. Seven eight lay them straight.”

My head keeps it in really fast and easy. Kind of like when you sort of accidentally step in really thick mud, and your shoes get so stuck they come off. Then mommy gives me the rest

“Nine ten a big fat hen!

That’s so funny! My movie eyes can see and remember that ending.

Now I don’t need the movie. I know the rhyme and say it fast like mommy. I skip and dance, steps and words together “One two buckle my shoe! Three four shut the door! Fivesix pick up sticks! Seven eight lay them straight! NINE TEN A BIG FAT HEN!”  I do it over and over until I have to stop because my throat and chest are tired and I my breath is fast in and out, so I run to the kitchen an ask mommy for a glass of green kool-aid.

This post was written for the RemembeRED “prompt”  at red dress club and is a memory written as fiction.

This week’s memoir prompt asked you to dig deep to find what, from your childhood, you still know from heart.

I still remember all those rhymes you did while slapping hands with a friend, like Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack all dressed in black black black.

What do YOU remember?


Linking up today with “The Lightning and The Lightning Bug” for Dare to Share: Something Old. I picked one of my first prompt posts that I enjoyed writing from a small child’s perspective.