Today my daughter would have been 11. She died before she even had a chance to live. I'm feeling a little sad today, wishing she had lived and was here. I'll probably have a good cry at some point today, and blame it on cedar fever. That is what I usually do. It's probably not good to dwell on sad things in my condition, some would say.
Or is it?
One of the things that makes us human, as far as we know, is our ability to remember. The tapestry of our collective memory, our recorded history, is as expansive as the night sky. The stories and traditions of countries and cultures and families add layer upon layer to that tapestry within ourselves. Every experience is spun into thread and deftly woven into the fabric that makes us who we are, as individuals, families, and humanity as a whole.
Occasionally we pull on those threads, and we remember.
We remember birthdays. We recall deaths. We commemorate wars, their beginnings and their ends. We experience some of our joys and our grief anew each year, with all the accompanying emotions, no matter how wonderful, or how terrible.
We pull at those threads, and although we may want to forget some of those memories, we are afraid to rip those threads, in case the beauty of our tapestry is destroyed forever. The true horror of Alzheimer's becomes then the picture of little scissors snipping away at the fabric that makes up a life, until nothing is connected, and we find ourselves bereft at the very thought.
So remembering how we got to this point, and commemorating some dates that are significant to us is our way of strengthening the fabric, reinforcing the threads of who we are. Sharing those threads, good or bad, with others makes the tapestry even stronger. Every giggle, every kiss, every goodbye connects us all.
So I will remember my daughter, cry a little, and my heart will weave the colors of the night sky into memory. She will be cradled in the belt of Orion.
Sleep well, Zoe Marie.