Half-Orphan Girl

I am not that girl. I am not that half-orphan girl. I am not the girl who lost her father, who has only one parent. A dying father is not part of my narrative. I am not this somehow 48-year-old woman who remembers the passing of the last generation of great aunts and great uncles and grandmothers, wakes and funerals and cemeteries in Brooklyn, being five and six and seven, wearing dresses and tights and black patent leather shoes, sitting quietly while my parents kneeled in front of caskets, praying.

I am not experiencing for myself what my mother and father and aunts and uncles experienced then. I am not one of the grown ups being introduced to that five and six and seven-year-old girl, who wasn’t quite sure who they were, or what to say to them.

I am that five and six and seven-year-old girl, safe and sound in the backseat of her parents’ old Pontiac, father driving east on the Belt Parkway, mother telling her to close her eyes and go to sleep.

3 Responses to “Half-Orphan Girl”

  1. Liz,
    Again, I’m so sorry for your loss. It gets a little easier to live with over time. My dad died in 1998; I still miss him so much! But fewer things now bring me directly to tears. Losing a parent, especially one you were close to, sucks big time.

  2. Michele Aquino Says:

    I awoke this morning thinking of you and found this thoughtful prose. Keep writing, Liz. It has the power to heal.

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