Sarah, Hopefully

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

words unspoken

I can't go to bed without attempting to honor her.

Is this the way of grief? That on the dark anniversary of the departure of one of our loved ones, we all come back, trying to spell out, trying to remember...

She is not lost. She is found every day in us.

I remember Mr. Strecker laughing at her wittiness in Spanish class. I remember seeing her sing in choir. I remember apologizing to her for being in so many of her classes because there was always lots of name confusion that went with it. I remember Mr. Hess calling us "Sarah squared" because we started sitting next to each other in Physics. I always had goldfish crackers or wheat thins or something in my backpack that we would share. She was really excited when I gave her my senior picture... Mr. Strecker told me that her parents wanted me to know that I meant a lot to her, and that my picture was hanging up in her room.

She had all these dreams... she worked a lot harder than I did. I asked her once what she wanted to do with her life, and she said that she'd like to be a foreign minister or something... that she would learn every language in the world if she could. In some ways we competed to be better than the other in Spanish, but really, we both just enjoyed it... she borrowed a spanish novel from Strecker to read at home, and we spent one goofy 6th hour period trying to translate the blurb on the back cover. We joked about Norbertito, we compared grades with one another (after all, our numbers were right next to each other on Mr. Hess's grade sheet- he arranged them in alphabetical order by first name.)

She was... everything that I wanted to be. Young, smart, driven. She knew what she wanted in life, she was strong in her faith, she was funny and friendly... she liked everyone and everyone liked her. After she was gone, I felt... wrong. Like someone made a big mistake and took the wrong Sarah. I was so clueless last year... I still am, come to think of it. I was lost and doubting and hurting... she was full of light and life. I couldn't help but feel like she had a better future than me waiting... but she inspired me, too. In a lot of ways, I don't think I would have cared so much for Spanish, if not for knowing how much joy it brought to her life. If she couldn't learn it, I was going to work hard to learn as much as I could in honor of her. Her dream to go to other countries and learn languages was part of what made me look at study abroad programs and going to Mexico. I know she would have been so excited that I was taking that opportunity... she would have loved hearing all of my stories and weird vocabulary that I picked up along the way.

Her favorite song on the Spanish CD that Mr. Strecker gave us was "Si, Señor." I think of her and the first thing I remember is her laugh. She had this beautiful crinkly dark hair that I was forever jealous of. She wore a green sweatshirt all the time that I always admired, being a great fan of both green and sweatshirts myself. She was the one who penned the "Sarita" and "Sarona" names for us... well, Strecker started calling her Sarita, and then one day she left a note on my Open Diary calling me Sarona, and that was that. Even though my teacher in Mexico tried to tell me that technically Sarona is not the proper way to make Sarah bigger, I didn't care. Sarona. It's part of me. It always twanged at my heart when people down there would call me Sarita- the women at the laundromat, people at the university, other random adults... it's a common thing, but still... a part of me wanted to say, "That's not me!" But it also made me happy... like I carry a part of her with me, too.

She is gone... not lost. She is found in me, in you, in all of those who knew her and loved her and miss her.

Thank you, Sarita, for being my inspiration... for making me realize how selfish and silly I am sometimes. For making me grateful for what I have... for giving me dreams for my future. Gracias por tu amistad. Te extrañamos.

1 Comments:

  • Love the pictures, Love Christmas, and always, Love Sarah.

    Happy New Year Sarah!

    -Lauren

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:54 PM  

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