During your viewing me and the girls all went up to your coffin to talk shit with you one last time. There, I asked that you visit me without scaring me. I suggested throwing a Cornut at me or something of that nature. Harmless enough. That night in my moms room, around the same time I received the text that you were gone, I sat straight up from bed and smelled flowers. I don’t remember exactly what kind, but the kind you smell when you touch down in Hawaii and get lei’d. I looked around for any candle remnants, and waited just to make sure I wasn’t losing it. But the smell was still there, fragrant as ever. Then, just as fast as you took your last breathe, the smell disappeared.
I told myself it was late, and I was making things up. There was no smell, no sign from above, no flowers. Until Rachel reminded me that I asked you to give me a signal that wouldn’t scare me. Even in death, you knew just how to cheer me up. I walked to the front of the church before your funeral the next day, and took a deep breathe next to your coffin. Tuberose. Just like the night before.
Fast forward to yesterday, two years after your passing and I’m at your grave crying more than the year before. I’m spreading a bouquet of Gerber Daisies on your headstone, wishing your drink of choice wasn’t Anejo with a water back because I know we’ll be taking shots at dinner in your honor. I see Ferl keep one of her flowers, and I do the same. When I get home, I stick it in a water bottle. I call Nikko and cry my heart out to her. I call Evan and cry my eyes out to him. I hope that you’re OK and not just dead in a box. I ask that you let me know the latter isn’t true. I cry all night, and end up working from home the next day.
Everyone is talking about how it gets easier as the days go on, but it got harder for me. I realized that I’ve cried more on your 2 year death anniversary than your viewing and funeral combined, but I’m not exactly sure why. I feel stupid because part of the reason is the reality that you’re gone sunk in two years after the fact. The first year seemed like you went on a trip or something, but the second hit me like a wall of ice. Oh, you mean you were serious about Gail being gone. Like, she’s really not coming back. That shit stung.
I got home from grocery shopping earlier, and went upstairs to put my bag in my room only to see the flower from your bouquet on the floor. The flower just wilted a little, and the uneven weight caused the water bottle to fall over. That’s the explanation I gave it, but I secretly hoped it was you. I start to actually think it’s you when I remember the smelling flowers the night of your viewing, but don’t want to feel like an idiot.
I try to finally post a picture of you on Instagram, because everyone deserves to see your pretty face in their feed. But I just can’t find the heart to. I start to blog instead, and as soon as I finish the fifth sentence of the first paragraph, the TV turns on. I jumped, shocked but not the least bit scared. I look around my empty living room not to see if something or someone else could’ve done it, but hoping someone else saw what just happened. The remote control was on the arm of the couch, a foot away from me while I typed on my laptop. I put the TV on mute and break down in tears once more.
It was only right that A.I. received the “Game Changer Award” at the inaugural National Basketball Players Association’s Players Awards on your 2 year anniversary. I’m sure you were cheering him on saying, “That’s my baby!” In his acceptance speech he said, “Same fight, different round. That’s what it is. Life is a world title fight. Some rounds are days, and some days you’re gonna get knocked down. And some rounds are gonna be good, and some gonna be bad. But the only thing that maters is getting back up and fighting again”. I couldn’t help but think of you and your fight against cancer.
Gail, I am so ecstatic at the thought it could’ve been you that turned on the TV, but sad that it could’ve just been some sort of electrical glitch at the same time. I want it to be you so bad, but I know there’s a possibility it isn’t. Ferl said I never fully grieved. She’s right. Maybe that’s why it’s been exceptionally, yet surprisingly hard for me these past two days. I can’t help but wonder how different things would be if you were still here.
My friends know me, I am not the type to look on the bright side. Her memory will live forever sounds like a great idea, but FUCK THAT. I want my friend HERE. You shouldn’t have been taken away to begin with. That shit will never sit right with me. But I will secretly pretend to believe all these signs are pointing to the YOU. That it is your way of telling me you are OK.
Because I don’t believe in souls, God, spirits, or the after life. But I do believe you’re the kind of person that would do everything she could to make sure her friends don’t suffer. Even if it means fucking with their remote.
Miss you mare, and as you always say “love you times infinity”.