The Child I Knew

I just want to sit and stare out at the world.

I want to be insulated and quiet.


I can’t find the insulation

Or the quiet.


Often times when I write, here, I do so without telling the back story.  The reason for what I wrote.  The prompt for why I wrote.

Today I am going to write a little differently.

Because sometimes what is behind the words is much more important.

A few days ago one of my children let me know that a child from our past had been murdered.

I had not seen this child, since she was a child.  An older child, but a child, on the cusp of adulthood.  She was in my life for more than a few years as friends to my stepchildren who lived with me.

Since that time she had grown into an adult and lived an adult life.  I hadn’t seen her in, maybe, close to twenty years.   I cannot reconcile that she was an adult, when I only knew a child.  When I think of her, and that’s all I’ve done for three days now, I see her only as the child I knew.

Smiling.  Innocent.  Blonde hair.  So very friendly and kind.  I can’t picture her, in my mind, without that smile.

Now I know a little bit about the past 20 years.  But, though I know it, I cannot imagine it.  I can’t think about it.  Because it doesn’t fit with the picture of that child in my mind.  A grown up?  A person I didn’t know.

I don’t want to be misleading.  I hadn’t thought of her, or known what became of her, for years.  The last time was when I heard her mother had passed away, and that was years ago to my recollection.  My feelings right now are for that child I knew.   I picture her ….then.  And cannot integrate that child into the horror that befell the adult.

I think of her hanging out, going to school, driving around with my stepdaughters.  I can see her in our home.

I cannot put an adult in the horror of that murder.

I put the child I knew in that horror.

And I find myself wanting, continually these last few days, to go back.  When she was safe.  When her sweet young face smiled, all the time.

I keep going back.  Back.  Back.  Back.  To that child.

I’m sure there are better ways to honor her, or pay homage to her than this fumbling of words when I don’t really know what to say or how to say it.

But I want to say something.

I want her to know, she is thought of, fondly.  And sadly.

I would want her to know that these days as I am thinking about her-I am thinking of the child that was alive and well in our lives.  That her smile is a kind and pleasant memory.

I can’t find any insulation from this.  And I can’t find the quiet for my soul.

I might just sit here a while longer.

Thinking about her.

And look for peace.