The before and the after

When Kim would tell Maggie stories about us going to China to get her, Elena would ask “where was I?”

Maggie would look at Elena incredulously and say, “you weren’t even born yet.”

When Elena was young this was beyond her comprehension. She had always been here. How could time exist before her. She would press Kim on this and ask, “really mom, where was I?”

Kim would give her a hug and say, “right here. In my heart.”

Elena would look at Maggie and say, “see, I did go to China. I was in mom’s heart.” This was well before she would tell Maggie “I came from inside of mom you know.”

How long was Elena with us before she was born?

I know. It’s kind of a strange question. We’ve thought of all sorts of strange questions this past year. I don’t think I’ve thought so much about the finiteness of life since I was in high school.

Elena’s now been dead longer than Kim was pregnant with her. So the time since the end of her life is now longer than the time before she was born that she was a physical entity.

An odd milestone to mark.

Maybe not too odd. Kim mentioned it just after it passed and I’d had the same thought earlier in the day.

Published in: on November 30, 2006 at 2:17 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Not an odd milestone if you ask me. I lost two very close friends in high school, one at 14 and one at 18. When I was 28 and older, I couldn’t believe that he had been gone as long as he had been here. I had the same feeling about my other friend when I was 35 (she should have been 36).

    I think it’s like a scar or a physical mark on the landscape. Relatively speaking, it doesn’t take much time to leave a mark that will be there forever (or at least in all of human memory). I find that a comforting thought.

    Oh, and I still feel my friends with me. Even after all this time. I know you’ll continue to feel Elena, as will all the other people that she touched.


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