I sit here at my computer on the second floor of my home, not the home where I raised my children, yet I remember…
Too early in the year for such nights but I’m drawn to the memory of my oldest daughter. She used to overheat so easily. It was her physical disability and her medications that made it difficult for her to regulate her body heat. I am reminded of that by a post from a friend on facebook who stated that her apartment temperature was 28degrees and holding. Wow! My girl would get so very hot and the body heat would stay high and she would have seizures as a result.
In the summer I would wait until her younger sister was asleep and see if her body temp would cool down after lying still for a while…if not I would secret her out to the pool…sans bathing suit because she would fuss about that something awful ( she was autistc and routines were everthing…not bathing suits at night…not normal, you see) and we would skinny dip in the cool evening pool and chase lightening bugs that hovered over the pool. Oh god…what a beautiful memory. She knew to be quiet not to wake her younger sister who would demand explanations of the non-routine activity. Who wound say, “HEY! It’s BEDTIME!” Who wouldn’t understand. And so we would float and relax and quietly whisper to one another and chase lightening bugs in the pool lights and the moonlight until she was cool enough to go back to bed and back to sleep safely.
Nothing can replace those times for me now that she’s gone. To the other side. Peacefully. Death finally took her. But peace has not taken me. I take some measure of peace in days like today in days like today that echo days past. When I walk up a steep hill and feel the sweat on my brow. When I look out at the pool waiting to be filled with the first water of the year. Staring out at the empty gardens from her empty room. Her joy in this newly warm seasonal sun is not lost on me. She has taught me to enjoy. I hear her laughter still.I hope I always will.