how many rounds of "I'm so sorry" can they absorb, can they tolerate before it sounds like someone is screaming in their ears? before it becomes fingernails being scratched down a chalkboard?
how many tears can possibly be shed, or prayers offered, or hugs given? how many tablets of valium must you consume to maintain this demeanor? how many times can you vomit from the illness of it all before there's absolutely nothing left to vomit?
the sound of wailing over a child lost is absolutely unprecedented.
his mother gains her composure just for another person to face her in line. she throws herself into their open arms - there are nothing but open arms everywhere to be thrown into.
"yes! this person, they understand. they know. yes, this person will feel my pain, will absorb this incredible sadness..."
until she realizes that she must compose herself yet again for the next pair of open arms. the next kiss on the forehead. the next "I'm so sorry".
the framed prints on the west wall are hung out of alignment and the mixed cd coming from the sound system is regurgitating instrumental arrangements of cheesy, early 90's easy listening hits. the wind beneath my wings didn't send barbara hershey to a happy grave and it doesn't seem to be helping much now either.
my uncle grabbed my hand and wouldn't let go. tears soaked his entire face and continued to flow, but he didn't really seem to care who saw.
"you kids need to slow down. you all just need to slow down."
it's the sort of comment that you would expect to hear in a condescending voice and half-joking. but he was not joking. and his words were not condescending. this was a warning, and from a man who knew the pain of losing someone who didn't slow down, who didn't listen to his body (or his friends that night), and who didn't live to tell about it.
i turned away, not wanting him to see me cry and not really knowing what to say in response.
I only saw Skylee on my way out. she hugged me and all i can remember thinking about was the feeling of her tears - so many of them - on my arm and shoulder. she showed me a framed picture of her and alex.
"this was our last picture. it was taken saturday night, about two hours before..."
and i was thinking that two hours later everything in her life changed. how could this picture, with the huge smiles and affectionate touch have been taken only two hours before his life was extinguished? it's amazing to me.
while i was reading, and on the phone, and while cecilia was playing pool, and while jc was at the diner, while my parents were sleeping, and while his parents were enjoying one of their last nights in cozumel... while we were living, he was dying.
and i think about these sorts of things, and they drive me crazy.
i am a fool.
i am careless.
i am... deeply saddened right now.
and i think it takes a lot for me to admit that.