Wednesday, January 5, 2011

There is a photo

Christmas 2005
There is a photo on the TV tray behind our couch.  Two bleach blondes and a redhead smile out at me.  Dressed in red sweaters and blue jeans.  A terribly heavy ache creeps up into my chest as I realize I don't remember.  I don't remember life then.  What it was like to have just three children.  When Meiners was a toothless baby on a fuzzy white faux animal skin rug on his tummy at the Penney's. 

I remember Pookie could barely lift her chest off the floor long enough to snap the picture of all three of them there on their tummies with their feet dangling against gravity in the air behind them.  Her chest had been cut and invaded too many times and there was no strength there.  But she smiled just before her little arms could prop her no longer.  Her head faintly eskew from the level plane of her brothers'.

And I remember her jeans.  Brand new in the photo with their dark indigo hue.  So faded are they now, with tears in the knees and the seat, I've had to admit to myself that my favorite pair of little girl size 4T bootleg cut Levi's with the snap flap over the back pockets didn't make it through the last baby.

I remember. 

But I ache inside as I realize I don't feel the memory.  I grasp what I see, but what about the unseen?  What was it like then?  Was it chaos and crazy and loud and hilarious and fun and difficult and scary and terrifying and perfect?  It exists in the recesses of my mind, but in an emptier sort of way than the living part.  And I wish there had been this then.  This documentation of the everyday, the extraordinary, the poignant and the painful and the real of the now that was the now only then.

And I purpose again to be intentional in the writing.  So that I can feel the memory in the remembering.
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