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I remember a blue jacket, stormy nights, and your art portfolio, my dear gal friend. I remember your eyes, and how sad they were. I remember telling you, “It’s like I have this mangled heart. And I’ll offer it one day to my future prince, but it will be a mess. Not whole. Not what it could have been, if I hadn’t been mauled by the world.” You listened, and understood. And I listened, and understood.

I remember grey days for me, long bike rides in the rain, and a wild rose I gave to you, pressed, as a gift for the rose petal you gave me. I still have that rose petal, wrapped in wax paper. It reminds me that we are precious to Jesus. We understood each other, and each other’s pasts, and were each other’s strengths. We needed each other. And even after all these years, you’ve been there for me, my dear friend.

Today, I heard a knock on the door. And there, on the doorstep, left by the mailman, was a package. And inside? A teddy bear, a hug since you were so far away, knowing I was walking through a very hard time in my life. It reminds me of the bear I had when I was little, a pink bear that’s now faded to grey. My old “Pinkie.” It reminds me of the heart-shaped rock my parents brought back from Newport for me—there, off on their anniversary. The golden starfish earrings. The chiton segment. The “two best agates, one from me, and one from Dad,” as Mom told me.

You are a comfort to me, like Jesus. You are the friend that sticks closer than a brother. You show me Jesus, though you are a flawed human. My parents are flawed humans. We’ve had our share of ups and downs. But they still love me, and I love them. We’re family. My place is with them, and my gal friends—my sisters.


I remember your eyes, my boy. You were a dear friend to me as well, and I appreciate the time that God gave me. I remember your sad eyes. I remember time spent walking with you, talking with you. I remember you being there for me, listening to me, and being kind to me. You listened to my past, and helped me be able to trust that I could share it without fear. I hope I was the same for you.

I understand, better now. Forgive me, forgive me. I did not understand. I understand better now. She helped me understand.