I am the type of person that keeps things. I have mentioned this before. I keep old letters and photographs. I save ticket stubs and greeting cards. This is great when I want to take a little walk down memory lane, or I want to make a scrapbook from my sophomore year of high school. It is not so great when I randomly stumble upon a box full of cards from my high school graduation late at night and begin reading them – alone.
I found the card from my grandma and even her signature made me cry. I found the card from my neighbor that passed away – the one I knew and loved dearly like a second grandmother. I read the words my great aunt wrote about how special I was to her, and the one that had my great uncle’s name on it. I saw the one that had my ex-boyfriend’s little brother’s name on it – the little boy that drowned three years ago this December.
I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t stop reading. I was so glad that I had saved these things. That I still had that little piece of them to go along with my memories – just in case my memories ever began to fade.
It has been five years since I graduated high school. In that time there have been over 10 funerals – 7 for friends under the age of 25. I think I’m losing count. I would say that I’m becoming numb to it all, but the truth is I still hurt for each of them everyday.