I was born first. Half a pound heavier, half an inch longer and older by a whole minute. Not that anyone would ever be able to see the difference. We were mirror image twins, my mom always said. She had us wear special id bracelets to make it easier to tell us apart. Crazy. I’ve met my fair share of twins and there’s always something, even if it’s a little thing, that makes them different from each other.
Mom says our differences were our personalities. She was quiet and I’m not. Still true, by the way. I don’t have any real memories of her, so I couldn’t honestly tell you.
She had a fever on night, one that came out of nowhere, and she went to the E.R. I never saw her again.
Thirteen hours later she passed away. No sickness. No warning. No goodbye.
I turned five six weeks later.
I’ve heard many many things about the months that followed after. I didn’t go to the hospital and I wasn’t taken to her funeral, although I’m told there were hundreds of people there to mourn her and that her graveside service spanned almost a quarter of the cemetery where she’s buried – it’s an enormous cemetery..
My dad told me that I asked him once why they had to cut her up.. describing an autopsy with uncanny accuracy, as if I’d been there watching. That I would often complain of a pounding in my head, that she was angry and I could feel her. We had that unimaginable connection twins are known to have. Even in death, so it seemed. I’m told it was an odd thing to witness.
My mom says after a while I then had to learn to live again. I’d never done anything alone before. Sleep, swim, write, use the bathroom.. I’d never been a whole person until that point.
There are lots of them, these stories. They’re like pictures I’ve only seen negatives of. Distorted and hard to make out.
But they’re just stories. Someone else’s memories. I know them all by heart and can tell them like they’re my own, but they’re not.
It’s been thirty-two years since we lost her. My mom still cries like it was yesterday and dad doesn’t bring it up until someone else does.
But there are echoes.. Echoes that can still be heard if you listen close enough. Like the ripples in a pond that get bigger as they get farther away until they’ve touched everything that they can.
Kelli was born to make ripples through the world. She was loved by so many and not likely to be forgotten any time soon. She left us something when she went, and it still lives somewhere within me. I can see it in my mind and I can see it in my girls. It’s a beautiful thing..
<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/the-things-we-leave-behind/”>The Things We Leave Behind</a>