My wife’s cousin died recently. She was a quiet star in our life. A bearing for our children. A seasonal anchor to our existence whom we thought we would see every summer and winter holiday until…
It was a car accident. There is not much to say about how horrible it is. About what a loss it is. I could go on about how she was 23 and an absolute ray of light. But that won’t change anything.
I keep thinking of the young girl who I met almost twenty years when she was only four years old. When my then girlfriend said, “let’s stop at my Aunt and Uncle’s house on our way out to Boston.” She was there when I saw fireflies for the first time.
I keep thinking of the young lady who stood with her three sisters next to my wife as a maid of honor. Her blonde hair pulled in tight while she was wrapped in a loose flower dress. She was there when the room made a promise of “we-ness.”
I keep thinking of the young woman who laughed at us last summer when we told her that her fringed, cropped, t-shirt was ridiculously small. She laughed. Laughed in an infectious way that made us aware of how ridiculously small we were being by judging her fringed, cropped, t-shirt. Laughed in a way that told us she had grown into a woman with confidence not afraid to wear what she wanted.
I keep thinking of learning of her diabetes. Of how she had been struggling for awhile before it was diagnosed and then struggled to be okay in a world that kept suddenly saying she wasn’t.
I keep thinking of the young woman who said, “Beno your so weeered.'”
And I keep thinking of the body of that young woman laying on a table. Bruised. Her hand held by her father. Dressed in her mother’s old red flannel nightgown. I hope her passing was fearless, but I’m probably wrong. I think how it’s not fair and how she is the wrong person. But I’m wrong. There is no fairness.
Goodbye Ainsley. Goodbye.