I had a short visit with Ava this past weekend, meeting up with family at a disc golf course, on our way home from a vacation on Cape Cod. Ava and I hung out by the road, on a picnic table in the shade of tall maple trees. We played with a princess sticker book and played school and of course she was the teacher. At one point a loud motorcycle went by and Ava covered her ears.
“Smart move,” I said. Which led to a story from Ava about a time she was in a field and had to cover her ears because she heard “100 motorcycles or infinity, or actually both numbers at once.”
Yesterday was the four year deathaversary of my sister Chris. Four years! It feels like ten and it feels like four and it feels like infinity. Maybe so many people I love have died that one grief bleeds into the next and each loss feels like forever.
My sister Meg called me yesterday to let me know she was going to visit Chris’s memorial bench. She planned to paint some rocks to put on the bench and wanted to know if I had a message I wanted her to put on a rock.
“I do,” I said. “But I feel like it’s selfish.” When she asked me what it was I told her I wanted to say, “I miss you.”
“That’s not selfish,” Meg said. She’d called our sister Jeanne earlier in the day and Jeanne had the exact same message. “And I planned to write ‘We all miss you,'” Meg said.
The memorial bench isn’t always there when family goes to visit it. Perched on top of a sea wall, looking out over Minot Beach to the ocean in Scituate, MA where my sisters and I grew up, the bench gets knocked over and tossed around by storms.
But the bench was in place yesterday, and Meg was able to bring painted rocks. Peace, Love, Thinking of You, and We Are All One, which is the message Chris chose to have on her bench.
We all miss you.