Today I spent the better part of the afternoon thinking about someone I’ve never even met. I do this often. I think about people I’ve read about on the internet, I think about celebrities, I think about distant relatives I’ve heard wild stories about. Today though, I thought about Veronica, Robert’s late sister.
I’ve been thinking all day about the things I could write about her. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to share in her life as she passed 3 years before Robert and I met. I almost find myself unworthy to blog about her since I have no memories to share, no inside jokes to explain. I remember the first time Robert explained to me the details of her passing. I wasn’t prepared for the answer I got. A lump forms in my throat every time somebody asks me about her. I begin to whisper and sometimes can’t even bring myself to finish the statement. At work, not that long ago, an odd thing happened. I was discussing with a co-worker one day about taking flowers to the cemetery and she asked me all of the whys. Why do you need to take flowers? Why did she pass away? When I finally broke down and shared the information, she said to me, “I remember when that happened.”
It struck me in a way I hadn’t considered before. Well of COURSE people are going to remember this. Why am I afraid to share this knowledge?
I’ll be perfectly honest with you. Robert and I have been married for almost four years and sometimes I still can’t help but feel somewhat seperated from the rest of his family. I love them all so very much and I long to feel like part of the family. It’s as much my fault as it is anyone else’s. Robert and I have many things in common. One of those things being that we are both very shy and very reserved. Rob doesn’t appear this way when he’s around his family but that’s understandable. Oftentimes when we are having a family get-together, I feel overwhelmed by how many people are around me and as a result I worry that people think I’m being a snob. This is why I feel like I shouldn’t share this kind of information. Rob assures me I’m full of crap.
Veronica Lynn Martinez left this world far too early. Today would have been her 39th birthday. She has been gone for 8 years now. Her life ended at the hands of another human being. There is no way to sugar coat that.
This evening, we gathered at the cemetery. Flowers and trinkets were laid upon her headstone. We wrote down memories of her and tied them to balloons and released them into the clear blue sky. I didn’t have memories to share so I wrote down my lament about never having the chance to meet her and that I’m sure James and I would have loved her. When we released the balloons, ours promptly got stuck in a tree. I can’t help but admit that it upset me more than it probably should have.
When we lived at the apartment a few years ago, I wasn’t working yet. I would be home alone with the TV. Sometimes I would sit on the balcony and read. Sometimes I would watch daytime tv no matter how awful it was. Sometimes I would go across the street to the park and watch the ducks. There was a bench in the park that was near a stone bearing Veronica’s name. When I was feeling particularly lonely (which was often) I would sit on the bench and start whispering to her. I could tell her anything. It brought me comfort. I don’t think I ever told this to anyone before. I guess I was worried it would seem silly, or that it would be frowned upon. In the end, I guess I really do worry too much.
We love you Veronica. We miss you with each passing day.