Dear Jamie - my love, my grapefruit
I can't believe it's been three years. It feels so much longer. Why does that happen? Perhaps it's the longing of things "getting back to normal" that allows time and pain to stand still.
I remember that day in Waltham you walking across the street on your way to the carnival: leather jacket and light blue jeans. You smiled your sweet smile as to let me know it's okay now and you're okay now.
I see you in the silliest of things. You had that innocent, child-like humor that would send you into a gut-wrenching gargle of laughter for the littlest of things. That's how I like to remember you. That's where you live in my heart.
Loving you and losing you feels unreal to me. But I knew when I saw the pain in my husband's eyes and those around him, my life had changed.
When the words were uttered of your passing, my life changed.
I woke up the next morning, and knew my life was changed forever.
I remember God speaking to me, and smiling remembering the day my life changed - that summer of 2010. That's when I first met you and your sisters and brother: Jodie, Joslyn and Javier - my husband's four beautiful children. You quickly became mine, and I remembered smiling!
My life changed again when you moved to Boston during the summer of 2011, and I remembered smiling. I remembered - as hectic as life was back then - that there were many more smiles and knew again, my life was changed forever. Changed because this brilliant, beautiful girl came into my life, and for that, I am truly thankful.
My nickname for you was grapefruit. It was our word. We made it up because when I asked how you were doing, like a typical teenager, you would simply reply fine. But I knew you weren't. I just didn't know what was wrong. So we made up a deal that if you was really fine and life was amazing, you would answer grapefruit. We would smile at each other. We both changed.
We shared this word with each other - whether you were having a bad day or if it was me.
My life changed because I met you and you made me laugh and you turned my "fine" days into grapefruits.
My life changed because I can hold in my heart every moment I ever shared with you and know I felt like grapefruit.
It's funny, walking in the grocery store and looking over at the pile of grapefruits. It always makes me laugh.
I miss my grapefruit.
I hear this song from Train "Drops of Jupiter" and this always makes me think of you:
But tell me
Did the wind sweep you off your feet?
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back to the Milky Way?
And tell me, did Venus blow your mind?
Was it everything you wanted to find?
And did you miss me while you were
Looking for yourself out there?
I get angry that you're gone and there's a piece of my husband that went with you. Not that he's not whole, but there's a part of him that's not there anymore. I imagine he's with you - you twirling the hair on his head with your fingers and laughing that uncontrollable laugh. I wonder what you think of his shaved head now.
I get angry that people don't acknowledge you - as though you were just a season in life, and like the leaves in Autumn, dried up and blew away. That your life didn't matter much. That it wasn't a tragic illness or accident or crime that took you away from us. See that is tangible - with a when, what, where and how. Your way has no answers. They left with you.
I got very angry today while cleaning the dust off your shelf, putting beautiful flower arrangements near you.
You are not forgotten. When I walk by your shelf, I whisper "hi grapefruit" and smile. For my life will forever be changed with the love and memories of you - my dear daughter Jamie.
And when anyone ever asks how I am, I will think of you and pray that one day, I will respond - grapefruit.