For My Aunt

I see you and I know that you see me. Not in the way that the rest of the world looks at us. No, it’s something magical that we possess; the ability to see straight into other people’s lives. We see the world as the first layer to something greater, a greater plan or a cover for a far more whimsical earth beneath. You taught me that kindness is a language that’s easy to learn but hard to speak, but that the effort is worth the struggle. 

I have this deep suspicion that I was a brat within my childhood. I looked at the human form and called it whatever my eyes saw, never wondering how much fear or love the person allowed to overtake their bodies. You never let me fall deeper into the hole of meanness and of anger. You plucked it out of me and fed it to the beasts that we created in our stories. They always held the ugliness and sadness that we wanted to be rid of. Luckily, we defeated the monsters in the end and the story always continued. 

No one had ever held me through one of my panic attacks. I didn’t want people to touch me and I certainly didn’t want them holding onto me. I was scared, but I wanted to defeat fear by myself. You showed me that I wasn’t strong enough and that that was okay. I tried to throw up the feelings. I could only cry as you rocked me back and forth as the blue of the TV softened my shadows. I’m still too stubborn to ask for help when the panic comes. But I know what waits for me on the other side of my delicate pride.

We are of similar hearts and of similar pain. When I look out at the rain, I wonder if you’re staring into the water and noticing its misty glitter just like I am. I clutch at my stomach and hope that you aren’t experiencing the type of pain that makes you stare up at the sky and gasp for richer air. 

I wish I could have met you as a child and told you that everything, in the end, is going to be alright; that the in-between moments of instability are only to make the foundation you stand on now stronger. I know we would have been dear friends in that lifetime just as we are now. 

You have fostered this brave spirit that pushes me to live within my dreams. Thank you.

Chester, VA, United States. I am living within my own forest of words. Some grow and some die, but they all help me to learn what writing is truly about.

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