This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

26 years

She was just here yesterday. I swear she was.

It feels like she was, but I know that’s only in my mind. The calendar says it’s been 26 years but I’m sure it was just yesterday. I can see her. I see her smile and her laugh, I see her frustration and her tears. She had them all. We’re in the living room while she changes diapers. One baby first and then she wrestles the second to the floor and changes him too. She’s in the kitchen cooking diner while I sit at the table and we talk. Shes folding laundry, while we talk. She’s outside on the top stoop of the stairs to the house having a cigarette and picking at the bumps on her arm while we talk. We talked a lot.

We talked about the boy I was dating, our families, her life struggles, my life struggles, and we talked about being abused. She was doing her best to work through the journey that is healing. She had a book beside her bed. The one he lit on fire. I have that book now. It stays beside my bed. It is slightly burned. She got half way through. She underlined and wrote notes in it. They are her words that I have now. The closest I can come to having a conversation with her again. When life is hard I need her the most and when she was alive that’s when she would consistently show up.

Yesterday I came to this in the book:

July 18, 1994 her work was complete.

I am sure when she wrote those words she had no idea how soon that would happen.

So now I work on my journey without her and that’s become part of my journey. Living with grief and loss, fighting for justice, and knowing that she’s with me, but it’s not the same way.

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