Three Months On

Gini was sick last night, so we holed up and watched comfort movies. Lilo and Stitch! That’s a fun Disney film.

Except there’s that scene the night before Lilo is about to be taken from her sister and placed with a foster family, where Stitch sneaks away.  And she sees him.  She sees him leaving and utters words that still shatter me:

“‘Ohana” means “family.” “Family” means “no one gets left behind.” But if you want to leave, you can. I’ll remember you, though. I remember everyone that leaves.

Rebecca didn’t choose to leave, of course.  Brain cancer took her.  That spitfire of a kid stayed for her last birthday party and her last frosting and her last meal at her favorite restaurant, and hung around long enough to be six, twelve hours’ worth of six…

Oh, Rebecca, we tried so hard not to leave you behind.

And I remember everyone that leaves.

I also remember the grief counselor, a nice lady with a sympathetic face, and she told me all the things I needed to hear: you’re not some grief tourist, she was dear to you.  This is only three months on.  Your actions are completely normal.

Yet it’s three months and the wrong movie can still send me into a crying jag that lasts all night and really only gets truncated when I swallow an Ativan at the end of it and lay, senseless, in bed like a doll.  And I think of Eric and Kat, and how they’re at the epicenter of this, and they keep moving, and so should I, and that’s why I got out of bed and wrote a small scene – one thousand words – but that scene and this book is so much harder because the character at the center of the book I’m writing was inspired directly by Rebecca.

She lives, a little, when I write.  And now I hate writing this book.  But I need to.  She lived every minute of her life, never stopping, and for me to lie down in despair would be to betray her.

But I miss her.  I miss her so hard sometimes.  And when she walked away she took some lingering sense of fairness of the world with her, and I can no longer trust the future, if this could happen then anyone could die, and of course they always could but illusions are like fires, sometimes it’s good to warm your hands at them and pretend the world is well-lit.

The world is much colder, now.  The world is fundamentally empty.  The world is missing a Rebecca, and I remember everyone that leaves.

(If you remember: Gini is doing her walk this year to raise funds to fight brain cancer, the fucking thing that took Rebecca from us.  It’s going to be very hard for her: I’m committed to a convention, and when they release the balloons to honored the dead children, it will be Rebecca rising into the sky.  She will be alone, and I assure you, every dollar will be a support to her.

(I did not write this post to shill for Gini.  I wrote it because I’m trembling and crying the morning after, and don’t know how I’ll get through the work day.  But I figured if I was going to write this, I might as well do some good somewhere in it.

(Three months on.  It is only three months on.)

2 Comments

  1. Leslie
    Aug 29, 2014

    Ferrett, I was happy to donate today, in honor of both Rebecca and my niece Kristin, who drowned at age 5. At the time of her death (and I had forgotten this until recently, as she passed 8 years ago), she was growing out her hair to donate it to Locks of Love. I think she would approve of helping kids with cancer in this way.

    This is hard, what you’re going through. I may have said this here before, but the pain of losing my niece was worse than losing either of my parents. There is something inherently unfair about a child being taken. What you write, especially today, really takes me back. Sending you good, healing thoughts from Dayton.

  2. Jax
    Aug 29, 2014

    <3

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