Talking to the Shadows

By Jennifer Amendt

Do you remember when we were little girls how you use to walk me home from an afternoon of fun only to have me turn around and walk you straight back home?
I will never forget how after hours of fun in the snow we would come back inside with our pink little noses and sopping socks to our steamy cups of hot chocolate, board games, and movies.

Our last run, or walk, is the fondest memory I have with you.
After our long walk we went back to my house and I put my prom dress on for you, it had just been finished.
I remember how we giggled because you made fun of how flat my chest looked in it.

We walked back to your house that night and I saw you in your prom dress.
A dress you would never wear.
Sometimes I think you knew that God was calling you home.
Could you hear him whispering your name?

Two days later I received a phone call saying, "come quickly" you were sick.
Two days later, you were in heaven, while our hearts were breaking apart down here.
Two days later, I felt alone.
Those days surrounding your sudden absence I will never forget.
The tears, the screams, the anger, the sorrow, and the loneliness are etched into my brain forever.

Almost five years later, some memories are starting to fade.
I don't talk to you as much.
I use to think about what you did to pass the time away.
Now a week or two will go by when I don't think about you at all.

Are you forgetting me like I am forgetting you?
I hardly remember your voice.
I could never forget that smile.
Yet, the memories still seem to fade, even if I don't want them to.

Can you see us strive?
Can you see us fail?
Do you see us smile?
Are you the one who helps pick us up when we fall?

In a few months I will run with the man who has your lungs.
I want to run with you one last time.
I know it will not be the same, but will you be there?
When I hear him huff and breathe on our run, will those be your breathes I hear?
When I am old and gray and it is time for my last breath, will you be there?
Will you be there holding my hand to walk me home where we belong?