I was here two weeks ago.

The same somber paintings on the wall, the same musty furniture lining the perimeter of the room that no one wants to be in.

It’s the worst kind of deja vu.

All that’s changed are the faces.

But they’re not all that different, not really.

Everyone’s still upset, still teary-eyed, still clutching tissues and offering hugs.

It’s just the other side of the family now.

They tell me they’re sorry.

I thank them and keep the rest to myself.

They aren’t as sorry as I am.

They didn’t pass up a chance to get lunch last month.

They didn’t fail to keep tabs on everyone at home when they were away.

They don’t have to be a support for everyone they’re related to.

All I can feel is guilt and the haunting memory of lost stories.

My heritage is being swept out from under me all at once.

And I can’t do a thing about it now.

They’re already gone.

It’s just another afternoon in clothes too warm for May, and endless reminders that I’m losing everything I am.


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