The Walk with Death: Part 3

Published September 24, 2014 by M. Natalia Arocho

Marching On

There are days now where I don’t remember her. Days where I try to remember what it was I was so sad about. Trying to remember but thinking, what have I lost? Have I really lost anything at all?

I’ve lost begun to lose some memory over time and when I remember of what I forgot, I grow scared. Scared that one day I won’t remember what her face looked like or how her skin felt. There are days where her voice is a whisper, fading into my mind to soon be gone forever.

The shape of her face, the color of her eyes, her smile, all easily captured on film to help the holes of my memory but they are little and few, theses captured memories. They don’t help in the memory of the feel of her hair, how she smelled when she had taken a bath or not taken one. Her laugh or the feel of her lips on my cheek. The way she would refuse something with a fierce “No!” or threw a tantrum over not getting her way. They didn’t help me remember the way she said my name and even now I’ve used her name so rarely, I forget how it sounds on my own lips.

On days that I do remember, those memories take me unexpectedly. They consume me, overwhelm me and I feel tears at how painful it is, all coming on at once, overwhelming me. I wish it would slow down so I can take it in easier but it won’t allow for me to do that. It’s all or nothing. So I let it come. As I walk to class, as I sit in lab, as I eat lunch with my friends, as I try to read the pages of a funny manga, I let the happy and sad memories pass through my mind. The times that she would run and greet me when I got home from school, the soccer games that she attended for me and siblings, the two birthdays that she lived through, the moments she try and copy whatever my mom did. All the memories that I am so fond of but remind me that there had been two years full of them but most of them didn’t get put away. As if there were files of papers that had gotten to be too much and so my mind had decided that I didn’t need all of them, that there needed to space saved for more. As if there was an assurance that there would be more memories. But there won’t be. They’ve stopped. And those two years full of memories have been cut down in half, turned into fragments of whole pieces and only appear from time to time, not always guaranteed in full.

Just like my mind, there are pieces of me that are missing, that are no longer the same as before. Fragments of my old self remain and I march to the beat of the drum that I wasn’t aware of before. It has gotten louder and made me conscious of the beat that I move to. I was blinded by who I was or where I was going, blind to what the world was and what to expect of it. The naiveté is lost and I am aware of this loud beating of the drum that I am marching to. I am no longer walking through life but lifting my feet and creating marks, showing where I once was and in what direction I am heading.

I march on knowing that behind me an angel follows.


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