The hardest move to make is to bring something back to life. To capture her smile when Rebel’s wagging tail greets her at the door. To remember collapsing into giggles for no apparent reason until we couldn’t breathe, dropping the heavy box and falling into the grass by the sidewalk. Catching the bright sun in her golden hair out in front of the old house on 105th street, the porch steps painted bright purple by a mischievous aunt while we were gone.
Jumping from bunk bed to dresser and onto the windowsill so our feet wouldn’t touch the floor and give us cooties. Feeling the hard wooden pillars as we peered out between them, hidden under the table past our bedtime.
If we could cuddle together again in the drainage pipe at the bottom of the big hill, keeping each other warm on a cold grey winter day, I’d take us back there.
Could I somehow fit all the pieces of her, left here, in some magic blue bottle and climb in with them? I’d add her burning sage and lavender oil, photographs of our times and places: that ride in the back of a jeep on the hard sand beach in Australia when we belted out “We are the champions” at the top of our lungs, that big horse she loved at Ponca that was too much horse for her.
I’d cut out those special days she marked on years of calendars: birthdays, appointments, special sayings and scribbles I cannot read. She might like to have all the school pictures she’d saved of her nephew and niece, and Rebel’s ashes. A bit of the beach and somewhat of those mountain paths she walked. The dreams she never had a chance to finish.
And I cannot forget her sarcasm for all things fake or put-on. Her sense of justice and her rather loud voice for the underdog. I would bring her back, but before she was broken by stroke, when she could still travel and nurse and speak her mind. And there, inside that tiny blue glass, she could go on and on, and I could see all that she would do. But in climbing in myself, I would be lost. The hardest move to make is to let someone go.