Right now, I’m reading Sarny by Gary Paulsen. In Chapter Eight, Sarny and Lucy are caught in the middle of a Civil War battle. There are dead soldiers all around them. Sarny thinks, “They were all going to die and nobody would know where they died or even who they were so I got their names and remembered on them. Elijah. Robert. Jim. Carl.”
It’s so important, isn’t it? To remember? It’s all we can do when someone we love is gone. We try to comfort ourselves and mend our hearts. We tell stories. We visit graves. We cry. We write. We remember.
We are 7 days into this writing challenge, and I see my friends remembering. Darlene remembers her husband. Kim remembers her Opa. Carrie remembers Cyl. Amelia remembers her Dad. Our beloved are gone, but we can remember.
My daughters will never know my Aunt Carole and her love for Diet Pepsi and how she called every year and sang to me on my birthday. They’ll never know my Aunt Ginny and how her house always smelled so good and how she always seemed to have a dish towel on her shoulder. Maybe my daughters might not know them in flesh and blood. But I remember and I will tell them and they will know.
After losing her only two sisters, my mom started talking a lot about her own mortality. “I just want to live long enough,” she told me, “for your girls to remember me.” How sad this made me feel.
Oh, Mom, they’ll remember.
I took a break from Sarny after that chapter.