I had a dream I was you.
Well not exactly you but like you.
I woke slowly through the mayhem my nightmare actions had caused. In the dream I had taken off to join a group of shadows in a room of haze. Left behind all the kids in the care of others. Left them in the hands of assumptions and justifications. Wrapped myself in self serving indignation & I stayed away, laughing and indulging my greed.
The dream ended with the kids huddled beneath an eve as I walked a row of dark cars in the falling rain. Holding my keys above my head pressing the clicker hoping to hear my car beacon back to me.
I woke gray.
I woke wondering if I had anything at all to say today.
When the phone rang BC called out to me, "It's your sister."
Not having both feet into the day yet I almost asked, Which one, little or big?
Of course it was my big sister- my "little" one is dead.
She was calling me to let me know the news. My most beautiful and alive aunt Toni is dying.
In the business of death of we took roll on the family: who is present and who is away. I was surprised to know so much on my own. Usually, I am weeks behind on the family's coming and goings but my connection to my cousin Becky has created an new line that binds me with home.
I know I am not you.
I could never be you.
My aunt Toni is the fun aunt. The aunt with candy in her purse. The one who swears and says things like, "don't tell your dad, it will just piss him off".
The aunt whose laughter echoes across the city of boats anchored in a cove at Lake Powell, deep into the night. The one who loved all the kids, even the hard ones. To all of us she was shelter and wildness, love and wisdom- all in one person.
She is proof that you don't have to be you.
She is proof that you could have been more like me.