In My Write Mind
I spent most of this past Sunday reveling in the wonderment that was Los Angeles; glowing in the sun and smog-free air and rubbing elbows with higher tax brackets and lifestyles. I spent most of it taking mental pictures of a landscape many dream about, being privileged enough to see the best in the world of music accept awards for excellence.
I spent most of the day caught up like an Usher song, making googly eyes at Alicia Keys and scheming on which parties to crash. Focused on the singing and the blinging; made it my business to be where the action was. I stored up all of those memories from the weekend, all of those memories from a remarkable Sunday.
And then reality hit me hard, like a Zab Judah combination. Brought me back down from the clouds and the setup of celebrity and lights, sat me up straight and as if with a feather, knocked me over.
Made me see the other side of Sunday.
On that other side, in Pittsburgh, on Sunday morning, my younger cousin passed away after experiencing a seizure. She was 23 years young. And had a baby of her own. One of my favorite cousins, always promising to come to New York to visit. Always promising that she would call more. Always promising that she loved me.
She always kept that last promise. Always gave the best hugs.
She was an old soul, did a lot of living in those 23 years. Motherhood will do that to you. Even when she was younger, she had a sharp tongue, making it her business to be in everybody else's. She started smoking when she was young, had a baby when she was young...and now, died when she was young. Too young. She and her sister, another of my favorite cousins, were extremely close. Talking to her this morning made my heart cry. To hear her breaking down after every other sentence...it was too much. Right now I'd give anything to be with my family, to be in Pittsburgh with them like I've been on so many other occasions--both happy and sad.
When I heard the news about my cousin that I adored, I thought back to the last time I saw her. It was her sister's wedding last summer. She was a bridesmaid and looked absolutely beautiful in her dress. Her daughter was a flower girl, all dressed in white from her ribbons to her tights. Right before I left the reception, I told her I wanted a photo of her and her baby. They posed; I snapped away. And it came out perfect. Just a perfect picture of mother and daughter, one that stays with me to this day.
I watched her grow from pudgy pre-teen to talkative teenager to intelligent young woman. One with so much promise and love and determination. I think about her mom and her grandmother and her sister and all of the strong women there in Pittsburgh who will be weak, and sad...at least for a while.
Only time and loving memories will make them strong again.
I will miss her smile and her hugs and her potty mouth (smile) and her Pittsburgh accent. I will cry and smile simultaneously every time I see her daughter from now on...only because I will see so much of her in her little eyes.
It was that other side of Sunday that my mother wouldn't let me see until I returned yesterday--after my long trip cross country. A side she kept from me so I wouldn't stress, knowing there was nothing I could do anyway. Thinking about that other side, of the cousin and love that is now gone, dwarfs any memories of an ode to the Southland and a few nights with my head in the clouds.
It is here that I will be for the foreseeable future, lost in my thoughts and too sad for my own good. It's funny how things work out sometimes, how we're forced to live out both sides of life...forced to see the other side of Sundays past.
Satarra Reddish--1981 - 2005.
Rest In Peace, my Love.
scribbled by Will at 2/16/2005 12:51:00 PM
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I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. (Joan Didion)
The Write One
Will. Lefty. Since Summer 1971. Over the next six months, I'll be saying some hellos, some goodbyes. Living, laughing, growing. Don't.miss.a.word.
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