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I won’t let go of you. I don’t want to, ever. What was I doing while you were breathing your last breath - while you, my little sister, were dying?
Drinking wine, reading a book, sending you a message you would never see, waiting for a reply that would never come.
How is it possible that things were so ORDINARY that day, and in the hours before the terrifying call that would change us all forever?
In my dream, I turn a corner into a sunny hallway. Suddenly there you are, standing there grinning at me as if to say: “I’ll bet I’m the LAST person you were expecting to see!” Your shirt is bright white. It’s pretty. You look happy. Dazzling, actually.
The pants you’re wearing catch my eye. They’re patterned in tiny blue flowers with yellow centers. There is purple, too - perhaps buds that have not yet bloomed. Such vivid detail in those flowers!
I reach out to touch you and say something, but I’m being patted on the shoulder and lightly nudged until I’m awake. I sit up in bed “What the hell?” I say out loud. (Is it possible you’re here?) I look around, but I’m alone and the house is quiet.
I cry myself back to sleep because I’m sad. We came close just now, but we didn’t get a chance to talk.
A few days later your dear, grieving husband sends pictures of some of your African violets in full bloom. The flowers remind me of the pants you wore in my dream, yet they are different. I remember thinking how poetic it would have been if they had been the same.
Sometimes I try to fall asleep by closing my eyes and conjuring up the dream again. It’s pleasant, as if you came back one more time. I see the sunny hallway, your smile, the colors, and the flowers. Suddenly I bolt upright.
The flowers! I know what those flowers are! They are forget-me-nots. Forget-me-nots! I search the internet for pictures and I find them. Sure enough, that’s what they are; forget-me-nots, beautiful and vibrant. Just like in my dream. Just like you.
I will not forget you. In my memory you smile every day. I watch you. Blue eyes, quick step - the ease with which you went happily about your life. Last time in your kitchen we laughed, joked, we raised our coffee cups and our spirits, solved a couple of the world’s problems, too.
I took it all for granted. I swear I didn’t know. How could I have known? But I loved you. I most certainly did love you. And I think you always knew that. I hope you always knew that.
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