Today you would have turned 31, but death cut you off at 29. Your last words still ring in my ears:
Promise me that you’ll publish it–that you’ll publish all of it.
I promised then and I promise it again now because you asked it off me. I will publish it–all of it. I had hoped to unleash the first installment of Sarn’s story as an ebook today, as a birthday present to you.
I’m sorry sis. I tried. I have too much to do yet and I still have to go to work tomorrow. No, don’t shake your head. Don’t be cross. There are filter words, forms of the verbs ‘to be’ and ‘can’, and so much to edit. There’s the Chicago Manual of Style the sixteenth edition that I need to finish reading. I–ah–also have a few scenes left to write.
Wait, repeat that. I didn’t catch everything you said. Why do I need to read the Chicago Manual of Style? I want to know the standard against which my grammar will be judged. Everything I have read about publishing and copyediting recommends that I read through the parts of that book that apply to what I’m doing. Besides, it makes great bedtime reading. After a few pages, I’m out cold.
Why are there missing scenes? You did tell me to change the beginning…So I did. It just took me a while to do it. After you died, I just couldn’t write. All I could do was reread what I had already written and wonder how the hell I had written something so good.
Then dad had a hemorrhagic stroke on Father’s day. I spent two months commuting to the hospital every day to sit with him and give my mom a break. That one event put everything into perspective for me. I could die tomorrow and your last request would go unfulfilled.
I keep my promises sis. It might take me awhile to make good on them but I always do. Once dad traded the hospital for home, I sat down and rewrote the beginning and it turned into a novella-length story. I let it. After all, it showcased the 800 pound enchanted tree in the room. Then I started this blog.
This site is the first step towards keeping that promise. As long as I am breathing, I will keep the course you set for me.
You can’t talk about where you are right now and that’s ok. I hope your struggles and your pain ended with your life. I pray they didn’t carry over into what follows. You deserve sunshine and butterflies, and warm sand under your toes.
Please don’t go yet. There’s still so much to say. So much always goes unsaid and it will stay unspoken because you’re receding now. Fading into the blue walls of my studio, you left the echo of your last request behind. An echo of a promise that must be kept and will be.
She’s gone now and I’m alone with my draft, my copy of the Chicago Manual of Style and my list of things to be edited and written. Her birthday has come and gone and I still have no gift to give.
The click of the keys replaces the echoes of her last request for a time. But her words will resound when I open the door to head out to work in the morning. They give me pause but my mortgage pushes me out the door.
Her words are never gone for long. My promise is ever before me. And I have kept one other promise today, I put you in my story sis, just as you asked.
❤ RIP Carolyn Kucsera, September 27, 1984 – February 22, 2014 ❤