Summer is in full swing, and I have sunburn again. I wore sunscreen but did not reapply in time. I suspect planned obsolescence, what with two hour applications, but I appreciate sunscreen. I grew up in the era of Coppertone number 4 and perpetual summer burn. My son wears sunscreen, yet, probably due to his Ecuadorian ancestry, comes home every day from camp a bit more brown. Daily evidence that he is here and alive, living in a body under the sun.

His beloved fancy sneakers are much bigger than Susanna’s shoes now. I picture him as a much older brother to her. They used to be mistaken for twins a lot, only fifteen months apart. My daughter will always look in memory like a little girl.  Her newer clothes are celestial colors and rainbow light, twinkling through on a clear day. She lives in a world mixed with pictures of a five year span travelled in a double stroller, and the energetic raiment of forever.

I cannot dwell on the details of his life, the life of my child who deserves privacy. I will only say that he is growing up and becoming independent of me. He has a mysterious future, like we all do. Someday, he is going to live part of his life in the secret world of being a man, which I will not completely understand. We will be always intertwined and I will never stop thinking about him, but the people we love do not belong to us and never have. This is a great sorrow we all have to live with. We weave in and out, back and forth between each other and when a cloud eclipses someone else’s presence we cry.

Summer, I am back at the beaches and playgrounds and carnivals, my emotions and thoughts spinning like the teacup rides. My path is peppered with little girls in hats and sandals with curly hair. “Pining” is the right word. I am pining for Susanna to be here. My hands are busy with any number of things but on the inside I am always reaching for her. My journey to make sense of all of the things which have happened still sometimes seems long and torturous. The road I have been on so far seems so much more than that. Every time I slow down enough, I am sad but full of memories. It is as if time has become fluid, and this is a gift and a beautiful thing. We all have a span for living, like Susanna and the starlings who keep teetering around me in sets of three. We all have a day to be born, and we all have a day to die. In between we have the great tremendous everything, and this all is both finite and eternal. We do not want to miss it and we will not. Relax, the days are long. Relax, more will be revealed. I love you Susanna. Thank you for coming here.

By trishfreer

Mother, writer, artist and teacher grappling with grief and loss.

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