I Remember Us

The other day I was driving to an appointment and a song by Anita Baker went on the radio.  I was just singing along and then the tears started falling.  I cried the whole car ride to the appointment until the song ended. 

I was thinking of you.

Do you remember when we bought that Anita Baker's debut cassette? We listened to it every chance we could.  We sang every single song at the top of our lungs.

Do you remember our afternoon dates at that Starbucks that overlooked our city?  We'd get coffees, share a lemon pound cake, and just talk - not about anything in particular, nothing life-altering.

Do you remember the nights when we'd be in the kitchen, listening to The Beatles of Supremes, cooking and, of course, dancing?  How we would laugh and laugh? Just another ordinary day with you?

We used to do so much together.  Just being together was good.  We talked pretty much about anything, although some things were just known to be taboo.  That was okay, though.  I didn't mind that - I respected your boundaries.  We had a lot of really good moments, but inevitably very bad ones.  We shared such a similar childhood that sometimes we just had to step back and not talk about it.  Like in any relationship we would argue, but it never lasted too long.  We were too close for that.

You were at every celebration and milestone in my life.  I was that important to you.  Until one day what we had changed.  It didn't happen all at once.  It happened so gradually, trailing so many years, that when we finally noticed it was too late.

My life started to change and evolve and it was really hard for you.  When once I always had the time to hang out and just be with you, now I didn't.  I didn't have enough of me to carry you and all the new responsibilities I had.  I grew up and became an adult.  I think, in your mind, I left you behind.

So you became distant and withdrew into yourself.  You let the demons in your mind take control.  Anxiety and depression became your friends and you just weren't interested anymore.  In all that you used to be and everything we were to each other, you made yourself feel like it never existed.  We tried to work it out.  We really did - I truly believe that.

But now you're gone - not just physically living somewhere else - but, you're essence is gone.  Our words are not the same and I miss you.  When we talk now it's different somehow.  As of talking to an acquaintance you once knew - the "How are you? Fine." 

I miss how it used to be, how we used to be.  I miss it all and I hate how your issues took hold of you and didn't let go.  I hate that the pills that are supposed to help you only hinder you.  I can't stand seeing you exist, but not live.  Now we can go days, weeks, sometimes months without even a hello.  I know it's no one's fault, really.  It's not yours or mine.  Life happens and this is the way that makes it easier...for you.

I just need you to know that I miss us.  I miss how we grew up together, navigated life together...that I remember who you were and how important we were to each other.

Do you remember walking through the snow to our favorite coffee bar to celebrate my new job?

Do you remember driving at the crack of dawn, listening to Boys II Men, to get to class?

Do you remember prom dress shopping or my outfit for my first day of Kindergarten?

Do you remember when we first met?

Mom, I do. 
I remember.