i can not explain these last 12 hours. can not. it went from jackie leaving on thursday morning to wednesday night to wednesday morning to tonight, today at 8 to today at 5pm, today in less than 3 hours, today, today, today–all in less than 24 hours. when i biked back from the allergist, happy and sunkissed and walked into the suite beka looked at me and said “i have to tell you something”. something that required going into the room, something that couldnt be spoken in the suite. “jackie is leaving, tonight, today”. we left the room in less than 5 minutes. i didn’t come back to it for a long time.
we packed jackie’s room–the whole thing really in less than 2 and 1/2 hours. ellen went mia and i had to go to work so it was never the 6 of us in there but between us, as with everything else we do together, it got done. her uncle came. i rushed out of work and we threw her surprise goodbye party. we took countless pictures. beka gave us all bracelets. we took a picture in front of the Cottey sign, an ode to the place that brought us together, into each others’ lives and then we were there, standing in a circle in front of her uncle’s truck, there in that moment we had long tried to pretend wasn’t happening. “well,” i said, “one at a time, i guess?”
and then all of us, the 6 of us. and that is when i started to truly cry. to sob, so hard i couldn’t breathe and all i could hear was ellen and jackie and beka and katie and amanda’s tears in my ears, surrounding me and their arms holding me tight.
it wasn’t easy. when jackie got in that car and we waved, calling out, soon the words got stuck in my throat and i grabbed amanda and beka’s hands and then beka was hugging me, pulling me in. ellen followed the car and when she turned back to us–oh, i could feel my own heart breaking but when i saw what i felt in her eyes, my soul collapsed on itself. we were in a circle together then, much like the one that we had been in heartbeats before, except it was different now–we were missing jackie.
it doesnt seem real. do things like this ever? i miss her already. oh how i miss her.