Ten years ago, I found out about your passing. That memory remains vivid in my head. I remember how Mom and I wept on such tragic news. I relive that feeling of anxiety going to your wake, seeing our friends get together to console each other on their loss. How can I forget such painful and grief-stricken day?
February reminds me of you more than cupid’s hearts and arrows. You left only a day before St. Valentine’s Day. This is probably part of a decision why I haven’t celebrated that day in years. I still mourn for you and your family. I wonder how they’re doing now or where they live. This brings me to imagine how it’d be like on the occasions you had missed.
You died at 17, only six months away from your 18th birthday. I know being an ‘unica hija’, your parents would have given you a grand party with all of us there. I would have invited you to mine, but your life felt short of my November celebration. To honor the short-lived friendship we had, I offered you a song on my coming-of-age party. It was heartbreaking, Gela; I wished you were there.
It seems like only yesterday, but a lot of things has happened in the ten years that you have been gone. I went to college, and got into a relationship with a man for almost four years whom I thought was ‘the one‘, but he turned out to be otherwise. Shortly after our break-up, a long-time high school friend got in touch with me to help him contact our other high school friends to attend to his ‘homecoming’. Almost five years into the relationship, I married him; and again, you were not there to witness that most special day of my life yet. Last year, I was surprised by a note from someone you know better than I do. I actually found it a surreal coincidence. What sucks even more is that you will no longer hear the other end of the stories behind those things.
Commemorating a lost loved one can be as easy as offering a flower bouquet or lighting a candle, symbolizing the spirit of the person, but I choose to write you this piece like we used to write letters to each other during summer break. I may run out of things to share about our friendship as the years go by, but note that I choose not to forget because you are worth remembering. You will always be loved and missed.