Thirty-pound Body of Tears

I don’t remember what season it was, or the time of day. I remember crying when my three-year-old self pieced together she was leaving.

Maybe it was 9am, maybe 4pm, I’m not sure.

She looked at me, gave me a long hug and held on tight. I latched on, unable to let go.

Most three-year-olds would do the same.

She walked out the door and got into her car. A shadow of abandonment cast on the driveway.

Standing in our entryway I faced the grief of abandonment for the first time in memory.

As she started to get into her car, my feet carried this thirty-pound body of tears out the door. My screams turned to wales, asking her not to leave.

Why did she leave?

I watched her pull out of the driveway, waving and smiling back at me. I was not smiling.

She drove away, and I ran.

I ran across the lawn to the corner of our yard where the grass meets the road, and the road turns to stone. I watched the gray minivan drive down Claude Road.

I called out for her between the sobs, my own eventually replaced by tears. The further she drove, the more pungent the loss felt.

I have to imagine she was crying too.

I texted her after I wrote this bit, needing to know she remembered it the same way I did.

She didn’t, she said she couldn’t recall a memory like it.

She mentioned my kicking and screaming whenever playdates at my best friend’s came to an end, or the fits I threw when my dad left the house.

Nothing for her.

“If anything,” she said, “I remember me crying when I pulled away from you guys, I hated leaving you.”

A few days later, she called to let me know the memory came to her.

She remembered.