When people ask me for my favorite memory of you, I feel conflicted.
We were sitting in a café in Northern Louisiana. It was late October, and the overcast sky
coupled with a steady breeze to create a chill particularly uncommon to the region (even for this late in the year).
You and I got coffee and beignets.
We talked about life through intermittent sips and the buzz of patrons making their
morning commute. You told me about my cousin’s upcoming elementary school events, what you ate for dinner last night, and how nice it was to have me home for a while.
Similarly, I told you of my plans for the semester, the simultaneous stress and banality of
“college life,” and the girl I had been seeing (not to be confused with the girl before that, who was terrible and awful, and really no good once you got to know her).
“Rest assured,” I told you “this new girl is something special. She’s the one.”
Your eyes lit up in knowing that I’m not one to exaggerate, and you told me with heartfelt
sincerity that you couldn’t wait to meet her. There are so many things that we’re fortunate enough to be a part of: graduations, apartments, wedding days.
“But hold on to the mundane,” you reminded me.
Headaches and late nights. Errands, and utilities, and that pain-in-your-back that just
won’t go away no matter how hard you try. Those are equally as important.
If life were made solely of beautiful moments, we would be quick to dismiss it as gaudy.
You need day-to-day life to balance out those “forever” moments. And if you’re fortunate
enough, you no longer have to discern between the two.
As we paid the check and stepped out to leave, I pulled a worker to the side. I asked her to
take a picture of the two of us. Something to encapsulate the moment. This seemingly mundane memory that had managed to become something greater than it ever intended to be. She politely obliged, and we stood side by side at the entrance of a random café in a random city on a random day. But in that moment, I made my greatest memory.
Of course, none of it was true. When I awoke the next morning. I was reminded that it was
nothing more than a beautiful dream. A figment of my imagination. In reality, it was Tuesday morning, and I was running late for work.
You had been dead for five weeks.
Try as I may, and want as I must, I cannot say that anything I’ve just described ever truly
took place. However, the impact you’ve had on me was beyond profound. If the amalgamation of all that you ever were coalesced into something so remarkable, then I would be remiss not to recall it anytime I’m given the chance.
Thank you for the greatest memory that never was.