Yesterday sucked. I wish I had something clever or insightful to say, but I really don’t. I’m not sure I have it in me today. Just the thought of having to string together the words I would need to speak my heart this morning is leaving me broken and exhausted. Please God, give me strength to carry on through these next few days..
Autumn’s dad and I were never married. We stayed together right around seven years but we were still so young.. His family though.. He has this huge, amazing family that I still, seventeen years later, find the time to miss now and again.
Johnny has eight – yes, I said eight – brothers and sisters, most from previous marriages. His parents were married while the kids were still young, and together they had Kelly. A family of As-Seen-On-Tv bikers, they are among the kindest, most amazing and family oriented people that I’ve ever been blessed with knowing.. And if I never saw them again they’d still be family.
Kelly was twelve, if I remember correctly, when Johnny took me home to meet them all for the first time. I was seventeen and we drove to Phoenix, Arizona for Thanksgiving (or somewhere around that time because Mommom gave me pumpkin pie..).. I will always remember John’s mom telling me later that she’d watched us while we slept. She found us curled up together both facing the other way, he had spooned himself around me. We both had our hands side by side on the wall.. She said we were meant to know each other.
Four years later we were living with them. We’d had Autumn by then and they’d gotten a much bigger house with a pool. Jason, Toni and Kelly all still lived at home too and we all became very fast friends.
But Kelly.. Kelly was the youngest and at barely fifteen (while I was twenty) she was the closest thing I would have to a best friend during the entire year I was there. From the beginning I wasn’t a big fan of Phoenix – I was hotter than I’d ever been in my life living there and I couldn’t escape to the ocean. In fact, it was SO hot in Phoenix it was literally illegal to walk your dog during the day because the concrete sidewalks would blister the pads of their feet! No freaking joke! I seriously cried..
Kelly and I spent a lot of time together back then. She was so young and dramatic and completely filled with the kind of inner light that only comes from the naivety of being a teenage girl. I don’t think I ever told her, but her friendship was what kept me from dying of loneliness. I’m not surprised to see the bond we shared reflected in the relationship she has with my daughter.
We’ve tried to keep up with each other through the years. You know how it goes.. Random phone calls and Facebook posts and fleeting visits every few years. I never married her brother but she was still my sister and I loved her.
Yesterday afternoon, around 2:00pm on a beautiful day, Kelly walked out alone into the waters of the Alabama Gulf Coast, called her sister Toni to say I love you, and then took her own life.
The world will never be the same.
I hadn’t seen her in a few months, but we had spoken just last week..
I miss her already.. 💔
P. S. Truth be told, I started writing this morning with the help of a daily prompt. I often enjoy the randomness of choosing miscellaneous topics and just running with them. Today’s word is ‘Carry’. I can imagine that to some I’ve gotten quite a bit off topic so I will remind you..
Please God, give me the strength to CARRY on through these next few days..
I believe He will..