One of My Strongest Memories of Me Is You.
I don’t know if this is enough to paint you a picture of that morning when I left. It’s all from my perspective and it remains one of my strongest memories of you.
This is why I could have never forgotten about Jack Daniel’s…
In the airplane that morning, there was all this noise and there were all those people moving around, laughing and talking, trying to find their seat, the usual. N was by the window, I was next to him and Ag and An across from us. Except I wasn’t really there. My body, yes, but my mind and my heart, they weren’t.
It was such a strange feeling, as if I was looking at everything around me through glass, as if everything around me was from another world and I was just peeking from somewhere outside of my physical self. I couldn’t really hear anything and wasn’t really seeing anyone.
And I must have been looking out the window or somewhere irrelevant because I only remember lifting up my eyes to see this man wearing a Jack Daniel’s T-shirt, which made me smile.
Everything was so colorful, I remember the sky was bright, and still all I could focus on was that black and white print that took such a beautiful meaning in that moment, more beautiful than any bright blue sky and babies laughing.
I know things are just things more often than not, but I like to read into them sometimes and that T-shirt wasn’t just a T-shirt to me. It was a reminder of all the nights we spent together, and the moments we shared, and the things you told me.
Seeing that T-shirt meant the world because it was as though you had gotten on that plane with me and I allowed myself to believe some part of you really did.
And after the plane landed, driving to the train station, I was again lost to my thoughts of you when I saw this jeep with a big banner on it that said… Jack Daniel’s.
I love jeeps, so I smiled again because you were the only thing on my mind and because reading into it, I told myself those were the forces at work telling me that you are thinking of me and feeling my absence just as I was thinking of you and feeling your absence, and though physically we were no longer together, we were together still, in mind and heart.
It’s not every time or every day that I believe, but now and then I give myself permission to trust that certain things, certain small synchronicities like the T-shirt and the jeep happen because of a meaningful connection. This trust, it doesn’t come from the mind because the mind is so deeply rooted in all things practical that it’ll find ways to dismiss those peculiar synchronicities as silly and absurd.
And perhaps they are, but I like to believe that this is how the Universe reminds us of things that lie beyond the physical. I allow myself to believe because it makes it easier to cope with things, and that autumn I had to learn to cope with the absence of you.
Over the years I learned to stay open to the idea that everything is possible.
On days when I choose to believe, I tell myself staying open is the only way for the forces at work to show and tell us things, things we need to have and hear when someone is no longer with us. And all I can do is hope those days are enough to make up for all the times I don’t believe. Because staying open to every possibility and especially to the idea that everything is possible is so hard at times.
The mind is so stubborn, but I’m learning that the heart is even stronger.
And about those things, you know of them: it’s the song on the radio playing on days when you miss him the most, maybe the song you shared with him because you wanted to let him know how you feel.
It’s the people across the table from you, whom you don’t even know, who are talking about something he used to like or tell you about.
It’s when you are out running errands or going to work and something purely trivial, maybe the way the wind blows, catches your attention. It’s just a small perception of something, something you cannot even grasp. Like déjà vu, you’ll dismiss it soon enough because you have to go along your day.
What I like to believe is that those things, it’s always them talking to us from wherever it is we exist beyond the physical. I like to believe it is them blowing soft whispers into our ears so that we never forget to listen. So that we never forget to stay open, open to the idea that everything is possible.
Because that’s when things happen and that’s when they can talk to us, or perhaps they talk to us all the time and all that we need to do is learn to listen.
Claudia Antoci is a Yoga practitioner, a horror geek, and a peanut butter marathoner with an aversion to lavender. She likes writing from the heart, although as a content writer she does admit that if you’ve got the gift, you can write about onions and make it a work of art. And she also likes beer. A lot. Claudia studied history because she thought that’s how you learn about the world. Now she recognizes that true learning is the experience of oneself in the world, which hardly ever comes through formal education. And what she would really love to do in life is animal care, because she knows that animals have so much to offer and she believes that animals can teach us about being human. Overall, she is just trying to know her Self.