Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “thy fate is the common fate of all/into each life a little rain must fall.” And so into all our lives a little death must fall. We lose people we love, objects we care for get lost or broken, and time carries us to a new state of awareness. A place where the appreciation for all that has come before helps us to be grateful for all that is yet to come. I had the pleasure of meeting Francisco Goldman a month ago and getting a signed copy of his beautiful fictionalized memoir, Say Her Name. Goldman writes with honesty about his vivacious young wife and the short years they were together before her death. However, this book is not about death, but about the ways that love comes creeping into your life when you least expect it and sometimes leaves quicker than you could have ever anticipated. Goldman’s ability to share everyday actions, moments filled with love, and the truth of living with and sharing a life with someone, transforms this book from a novel about death to a testament of two imperfect people finding their way perfectly together.
That first winter of Aura’s death I was fixated on not losing my gloves, my hat, or my scarf. Since first being entrusted with the responsibility of looking after gloves, hat, and scarf in kindergarten, I’d probably never gotten through a whole winter without losing all of them. Aura was just the same, probably even worse. There were about a dozen single unpaired gloves, hers and mine, scattered around inside our big closet like unmated birds in a forlorn aviary. At least once every winter Aura would fall in love with a new winter hat, winter hats still being a novelty to her, and she’d wear it everywhere, even when it wasn’t cold out, and when I’d swoon over how cute she looked and want to cover her winter-glowing cheeks in kisses, I’d think, it’s just a matter of time before she loses this hat, and I was never wrong.