Remember when Dad got a video recorder and started putting the recorder in our faces to document everything? Yeah, me neither. But I had a large stack of VHSC’s sitting around that stirred those memories. I finally took them all in to be developed. It cost more than a car payment, but was totally worth it. We were all grown, all young adults by then, and so many of them were family reunions and people singing. Plus Christmas morning with the five of us. Growing up it always seemed as if there would forever be the five of us, and to go set five plates at the table would seem natural even now.
The videos bring back your talk, your mannerisms, the way your hands looked. Those are the things I miss the most. A part of me wants to crawl back into the video and back into that life. But I have a child now, and I can’t take her back with me, and I must live with two feet firmly planted on the ground of now.
So today your anniversary has happened again, for the twelfth time. We have company for the holidays, as is often the case given the close proximity of your death and the holidays. It’s a great distraction from the bitter reality of this day. Each person I bury makes me feel a bit older, but when we put you in the ground, I felt like I aged a thousand years.
A happy update on your nieces: Mackenzie is asking for clothes and make-up for Christmas and is no longer a kid with her toys; Marissa is a reader and a deep thinker just like you and beautiful beyond belief; and Ella Bean started kindergarten this year and wants to be a gymnast when she grows up. Mom has made a passel of friends and is out living life. Quay is dating a nice lady. Charlotte Whittmore is still receiving scholarships from The Deana Kendrick Foundation and will graduate soon. Vegas is still standing and going strong. It’s changed a lot since we used to rendezvous in sin city, but I suspect sisters are still meeting up there and making memories in their own space and time. I’m sure glad we did.