I’ll Keep You With Me

I don’t know why this anniversary is particularly difficult. They’re all difficult, but this one, specifically, has been harder. I wish I knew why.

He’s been gone half my life. 

It’s difficult to think that. It’s downright fucking painful, but it’s true. We were together, off and on, for a little over a year, and then he was gone. I was 17. He was 20. I’ve been without him for nearly six times the length we were together.

I’m 14 years older than he ever got to be.  I have 14 years of knowledge and experience that he never had.

It doesn’t make anything easier.

Would we still be together? Would he be proud of me, and how I’ve used his inspiration in my career direction? 

There’s a hole in my heart, shaped like him, that I don’t know if it’ll ever fill back in. Maybe I’m afraid it will. I still have photos that his mother gave me… but I don’t remember the sound of his voice.

What else am I forgetting?

God, I miss him.

I’ll bury your memories in the garden

And watch them grow with the flowers in spring

I’ll keep you with me

Cigarettes & Saints – The Wonder Years

Live with a Warrior’s Heart

This post has taken on many forms in the past month I’ve been writing it. It usually only takes me a day, maybe two, to write a post once I sit down to write, but this past month hasn’t been an easy one, physically and emotionally, and I’ve needed more time to process things.

I don’t know if I have, though. It’s hard to process the loss of someone who was gone too soon, far before her time, hard to try and comprehend that there’s so much she won’t get to do.

One of my favorite creators, Julia Albain, wrote a book a few years ago (A Glamorously Unglamorous Life, it’s a wonderful introspective read). I ordered a copy, and received with it, a small gorgeous piece of watercolor art, with the words LIVE WITH A WARRIOR’S HEART printed on it. Now, more than ever, do I need that. For myself, and all the things that my dear friend won’t get to do.

The first time we met in person was at a convention for a TV show we used to watch (nerds to the end). I was struck by how quiet she was, but when she spoke, you listened. She was intelligent, and almost cuttingly funny, with a razor sharp wit. By the end of the weekend, we all had nicknames. She was 00Q, because she was quiet, but like a secret agent, she was not to be underestimated.

It’s not fair.

I miss her. I miss her deeply.  I miss her thoughts on the Oscar Nominations (would she reuse her picture reply from last year a box of “Assorted Entertainment Crackers” or something new?), and pop culture and activism and racism and sexism and body positivity.

I miss her.

But I have to believe that my heart is a warriors heart. That for her, I will never ever stop trying to achieve what I want.

So this year, every thing I do, every thing I write, every adventure I take,  I’ll do for me.

But I’m also doing it for Chelle.


Bookmark created by Julia Albain