I do

From behind me in the car, his voice as soft as an old housedress, Tuck asked whether I remembered how I used to hold Celia in my lap when I rode in that seat.  I do, I said.  Of course I do.  In the next breath he pointed at a dirty comforter discarded on the side of the freeway and said, “I bet someone had a picnic there.  But it must have been family with a baby who couldn’t walk yet so they didn’t worry about all the cars.”  I marvel at his mental gymnastics.  I am glad he has her memories.
At the farmer’s market I turned around too late, found Tolliver mistaking fresh fruit for “fro and catch” balls.  Someone else saw him too, and said, “You sure have your hands full!”  And she was right, I do. Thank God, I do.  But sometimes my arms still feel empty.
Our home pulses with the sound of the sons who live here, and whispers of the daughter who doesn’t. If I’m not listening to imaginary rocket reverb then my inner voice is wondering who she might have been had her other genetic material gotten a chance to manifest.
Last night Andy and I were reminiscing, reminding one another of what she was like in the middle of the night.  We took turns camping out in the basement when she wasn't sleeping, enduring countless episodes of Max & Ruby.  He recalled propping her on the couch with pillows, her face content as she sucked her paci and tilted her head toward cartoons.  I said to him, We knew her well enough to know we never really knew her well at all.
It’s hard to remember someone you never really got to know.  But I do remember, I do.

On Thursday, September 5th at Fado Easton, we'll both be behind the bar helping the Pleasure Guild raise funds for NCH Hospice (and trying not to spill too many drinks!).  Whether you like a little alcohol after a long day or you'd just enjoy the opportunity to laugh at us, please come if you are able!


rht said...

I remember dozing with Celia on the twin mattress on the floor in our guestroom. In the middle of the night there's a train whistle that would sometimes awaken her, and we would snuggle and I would sing with her lullaby CD until she could settle back to sleep. Now sometimes I "see" Celia as a teenager or as a grown woman -- beautiful and accomplished -- but never quite as wonderful as she undoubtedly would have been.

Grandma Jan said...

This must be a Celia-remembering time. Yesterday I put her picture on my desktop at work because I do miss her and wanted to look at her every chance I could.
Like all of us, I wonder.... but with that wonder is gratitude. And RoRo is right.. beautiful and accomplished and full of wonder.

The Wendels said...

Grandma Jan has it right! We were at Music on the Lawn last night and there was a little girl about 6 with red ringlets pulled up on top of her head. She didn't dance throughout the concert, instead scoured the grass looking for flowers to pick. Her looks reminded me of Celia and her inquiry reminded me of Tucker.