My timing was bad when I brought the newest passages to her. I was giving her her 8:00 pills – bedtime pills – and I had given her her dessert and my cat was meowing in the hallway…Usually the process of reading these diary entries takes a half an hour – and I’ll be honest, I was impatient. I’ve been writing a lot and attempting to keep to my self imposed deadlines, so I asked her: Would you like to read these now or I can bring them down tomorrow? She wanted to read them now, so badly in fact, she let her ice cream melt in the bowl. I settled in and let my cat meow in the frigid hallway. (In Babu’s house she’ll knock over her knick knacks and try to eat the poinsettia.)
We read about the passing of Stanley Midura. She pondered how he died and why she didn’t put that in the account. She postulated that she may have not known he died. I believed she probably did, back then. She moved on in our discussion a little less quickly than in her journal, but still more quickly than I would have thought. I’m emotive, emotive as hell. Things like this stick with me, tiny things that have a ring of sadness but nothing to do with me. I think, as morbid as it may sound, I like to dwell in that sadness for a little while and try my best to suss out it’s meaning. Babu is more pragmatic and reserved. She was taught, I’m sure, how to behave in public and what to keep inside, what was proper and lady like and what was private. I’m sure she was taught to train her emotions. Also, she’s had much more deep sadness, sadness that does more than “ring” in her life.
However, Stanley died so young, a high school student, and there may be few people left now who remember him. Or none. I’m guessing he did not yet have children who would have possibly still been alive to remember their father.
And here I have this name and this date, but nothing else about this boy. I believe all lives deserve to be remembered and maybe even grieved a little, even 80 years later. I believe that honoring the memory matters.