Saturday, September 27, 2014

Day 210: What I Want to Remember

I'm part of a 30-day grief writing course.  Today's writing is in response to a prompt. What do I want to remember? What do I want to forget? And what I need to write today is of the sweetness. What I want to remember. Because, truthfully, what I want to forget has been keeping me up lately. So, let's go gently into the love.

September 26, 2014

I want the gatekeepers of memory to be
kinder. To open the doors and escort out
the dark. To imprison the light. I want to

remember only the light. I want to walk
in the chambers of my mind, placing my
hand on the handle of any door, and not

fear what is on the other side. Even more,
I want the doors to blow open as I walk
past- each one- blow open, and I want to

smile when I look inside. Here, in this
room, we are side by side on the bed, my
left hand clasped in his right. I want to

look into this room and I want to remember.
I want to not be crippled by a memory,
knocked down. Breath stolen. I want to

look in and feel my chest stir. To stand at the
doorway for awhile and take it all in. Step in,
perhaps, for a better look. I want to see our

feet, having found each other, taking part in
their own discussion, quite independent from
the thoughts we’re exploring. The thoughts

we’re sharing. I want to remember this. I
want to remember how we could lie there
for hours and do nothing at all but let our

hands be held and our feet explore. I want
to remember the hours spent with warm
limbs and warm lips and warm hearts and-

oh, I want so much to remember the warmth
of that little divot near his collarbone. I want
to remember how smooth the skin was there

and how I could feel his heartbeat if my finger
was still. I want to remember the tiny peach
fuzz hair on his earlobes and the small scar on

his hand. I want to remember how each time
I’d place my palms flat on his face it would
take his breath away. I want to remember this. 

I want to remember the sound of his voice-
reading “American Gods” to me over a skype
call late at night. Or a poem he’d written for

me across a table in our favorite café. I want
to remember the sound of his voice near my
ear as we stood on that hill, under that full

moon, as he recited “Moon of Mountains.” I
want to remember how sometimes the sound
of his voice and what he said could make my

legs lose their power to hold me up. I want
to remember what it was to lose my balance.
To be drunk with love. I want to remember

the feeling of falling. And I want to remember
being caught. Being caught up in his jacket like
a baby or an animal. I want to remember how

he would arrive at my door mid-winter, how I
would unzip his coat and crawl in. I want to
remember the chill of his face under my lips

and how I would tell him he smelled like Christmas.
I want to remember my hand on his leg when
we drove. I want to remember winding through

country roads in Korea, bright green rice fields
and India ink hills in every direction. I want to
remember the way he’d fall asleep on longer

drives and how I’d steal glances of his settled
state as my sleep-dappled passenger. I want
to remember his moments of peace. Of stillness.

Of holding and being held. Of laughter so
contagious I’d press the replay again and again.
I want to remember dancing in the kitchen,

bathing on the rooftop, surprising one another
with gifts, and leaving notes. I want to remember
mid-day phone calls and surprise text-messages.

I want to remember the site of him, stark
naked, back to me, standing at the kitchen
sink washing out our tea mugs.  I want to

remember him looking back, slapping his
backside and saying, “Are you looking at my
bum? Quit looking at my bum, you bum-looker!

That’s rude!” I want to remember how this
made me laugh until I cried. I want to remember
how he delighted in making me laugh. How

intoxicated he was by my joy. I want to remember
seeing him act- how he’d burst onto the stage
with such intensity. How he’d sing in a norebang

with such intensity. How he’d plow through
a crowded subway area with such intensity.
I want to remember his intensity. But I also

want to remember his softness. I want to
remember this: sitting on the back of his
motorbike pressed up against the warmth

of his back. I want to remember how he’d
ride with one hand on the bike handle, the
other reaching back for my leg. I want to

remember how he was always reaching for
me. I want to remember writing together,
speaking the same language. I want to remember

collaborative efforts and how proud we were
of each piece we birthed. I want to remember
being the proud parents of words joined together

on the page. I want to remember trusting him
with my words, and being the you of his words.
I want to remember You Are the You of My Words.

I want to remember every word of every line
in every poem he wrote for me. I want to exist
there in those words written by someone who

truly saw all of me and loved what he saw. I
want to remember meeting his coworkers,
his parents, his friends back at home. I want

to remember walking out of that party or
hanging up that skype call and seeing him,
grinning from ear to ear. I want to remember

how he told me he was proud to be seen with me.
Proud to be with me. I want to remember how
he thought I gave him “street cred” with his

friends and family, and how funny I thought
that was. I want to remember the feeling of
being with someone who was immensely proud

to be with me. And I want to remember feeling
incredibly lucky. Lucky to have found, quite
by accident, this man walking through the

crowded streets of my tiny town. Lucky to
have bumped into him on the corner of
that market place and invited him to help

me shop for slippers for my school. I want
to remember going home the night that
I met him and telling God, “Look here, I

just want to be clear that I have no intentions
of dating anyone while I’ve over here in
Korea. So…just…you know…I don’t know

what you have going on with this guy, but
I’m not interested. In any plan you might
have. Just want to make that clear. So…ok.”

And I want to remember how God laughed
at me then. How God laughed the way a
parent would laugh at seeing their child balk

at something that’s good for them. I want
to remember. I want to remember how God
kissed me on the head that night and said,

“It’s ok, Bridget. You don’t have to worry one
bit. I’ve got Gareth. And I’ve got you. And
you’re ready for something absolutely magical.” 


  1. isn't God something? i needed this reminder. thanks

  2. Bridget, you are so brave in taking on this writing course. I think I'm afraid to look at what I want to remember. How do I take the painful memories alongside of the pleasant memories?