November 14, 2009

If I Could…

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:38 am by jlp412

If I could, I would take you away from this…

If I could scoop up your ashes from the bottom of the lakes of Chicago and pick them apart from the soil grains of where your family lives in India and blow through a wind strong enough to carry them up from every other crevice of this earth that they have blown to and settled in, I would create a tornado of the tiny particles of you, and make you whole again.

If I could plop you out of my mind and onto my couch for one last soul-sharing session, I would tell you I am scared, of turning 25, of wandering onto the right path to follow for the rest of my days, of finding someone to walk beside me with a map and a sense of humor. I would tell you I am grateful, to be living in the nation’s capital among new friends freshly plucked since college, to be working at a place I love on an issue I have come to care deeply about. I would tell you how good it is to see you, how proud I am of your fellowship, of your study in Ghana. I would ask of your own fears and joys, inquire about who you love and who you want to become. I would make you some tea and cover our legs with my purple fleece Northwestern blanket, and then I would hug you and send you with reluctance on your way.

If I could unstick your pictures from the scrapbook I’m making, I would collage them together one by one, another tattered tapestry of your incomplete life, if it meant you could add in the missing pieces of the moments still to come.

If I could, I would throw away two or three boxes’ worth of your Chicago belongings so you’d have enough room in one car to pack your things before you travel to Atlanta. Or I would call you last March 19, five minutes or one minute before time decided to make you unreachable for the rest of its duration. Or I would drive you there myself, chattering away all the while about the many people you had mapped out to visit, playing stupid road trip games, listening to old CD mixes.

If I could, I would pry open your eyes just to shake you awake and show you all you’ve done through who you’ve known here. A fundraiser happy hour was held for you in New York last night. You were memorialized in Northwestern’s magazine. Every day, that jar of voices I sent you becomes more and more full of stories told of you here and gone. If I could, I would show you just how much you’ve done.

If I could, I would tie your wrists to your bed in Chicago so you would not leave that day.

If I could, I would unbreak your bones and unstop your heart.

If I could, I would vacuum up every conversation we’ve ever had and store them away in hundreds of brimming bags, pulled taut with their words, and I would listen to one of them each night for the rest of my life.

If I could, I would take you away from this…

If I could, I would save you.


  1. Renuka said,

    Beautifully penned emotions !!
    So touching.I had tears in my eyes.
    To bear such a loss,you have to be a real brave ..
    May God bless you and family with the much needed courage ..

  2. Suhas Apte said,

    Periodically I go back & read every blog you have penned … with tears in my eyes. Thank you for so eloquently capturing the emotions that we are going through …. The entry titled ‘if-i-could’ beautifully captures what has been hounding me since March 19th.

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