I recently found myself googling things like “dealing with grief”, “i hate everyone”, and “who is the invisible man chopping onions that keeps following me around?”
You see, Bekah died.
Bekah was my other half. Before she learned to speak English, I learned to “speak Bekah” and would translate for her. When she said “agung” I would pop my thumb out of my mouth and announce to our mothers, “Bekah wants water”.
In preschool we “cut a deal” with our teacher (Bekah’s aunt) and were only allowed to sit together at lunch if we took bites of our sandwiches in between words. Apparently we talked too much.
In first grade we were in different classes but at the end of each day we would stand next to each other in the line for the bus home. We were both tiny (the word “runt” comes to mind) and the older kids would sometimes stand behind us to help us hold up our giant backpacks.
After first grade I moved from Staten Island to Florida but our families kept in touch, and every summer my family would head back up north.
Summers were spent in the mountains at a magical place called Four Star. We climbed trees, built castles out of rocks, and fortresses out of giant dirt hills. Together we crossed beaver dams, swam through swamps, got lost in the woods, caught frogs and salamanders, and generally just had the time of our lives.
Soon we started dressing alike, because the only thing better than one awkward, gangly preteen in overalls and a bucket hat is another awkward, gangly preteen in overalls and a bucket hat. We were independent, strong-willed, at peace, and happy. So happy. I never felt more myself than I did when we were together.
When we weren’t together, our memories sustained me. Over the years I found myself returning to those memories for comfort every time that I spoke to her.
While Bekah only passed away recently, the happy child who was my dearest friend left long ago.
Bekah had struggled for years with mental illnesses that threatened her life and stole her identity. Even as the years went by and I saw her drift further and further away from who she was, from who she had been…I still clung to the hope that she would come back.
As much as I had tried to prepare myself over the years for her death, I never truly believed that it would happen.
Until it did.
And so I cry. I hurt. I mourn. For the Bekah that used to be - for the Bekah who will not be coming back. For the innocent, happy little girl who had been trapped for so long by mental illness. For my best friend. For the future that we had dreamed of. For the little girl inside of me who never stopped believing in the little girl inside of her.
I know that it’s selfish of me to hurt so badly when she is no longer in pain. So I take my tears as payment for her peace, and try once again to find comfort in the memories. And I’m finding that it’s a lot easier to type that sentence than it is to live it. Back to googling I go.
This Friday, December 2nd, St. Augustine will play host to an innovative, crowdsourced art exhibit - Florida By Phone. The gallery at the St. Augustine Art Association will feature a collection of photographs - all captured by and displayed on mobile phones.
All proceeds benefit the St. Augustine Art Association.
Sponsored by Make Me Social.
It’s like Barney (the purple dinosaur, not the character played by everyone’s favorite former child star, NPH) said: Just Imagine.
Dear Burger King,
Even if this is to make their intentions “clear” do you know any kid who would see that and understand it?
Edit: any kid OTHER than the super genius that I babysat my sophomore year of college?
Halloween is the best holiday for brands. Hands down.
Kids need to stop using YouTube.
As much as I enjoy awesome train wreck videos like the one above created by cameradancer100 and the cluster of weird that is the “reborn” community, these videos don’t go away. And strangers watch them. Strangers like me, who will one day get a resume, Google/Bing/Yahoo-ooh-ooh the name, and discover that Jessi Slaughter is not related to Sergeant Slaughter.
All of these awkward childhood moments, captured on camera and permanently etched into our collective memories…
What happens to the internet child stars when they grow up?