There are moments in this life that are too impossible to accept. Pain that is too deep to express. Loss that is too great to bear and sorrow that encompasses our hearts like a cold hard truth that burns through all reason. Untimely circumstances that crash through our sunny days and bring us to a place we never thought we’d be – we never imagined we would know.
I was standing at a volunteer booth this summer when I saw this couple through the crowd – and I could not take my eyes from them. She was dark and slight and she was fair and athletic. They were standing face to face and talking into each other while their hands cupped the others face. They were moving together as they spoke and kept there own rhythm to a song that no one else could hear. There were hundreds of women drinking and dancing and running around like kids in a candy store and in the middle of all the madness there were these two people lost inside of the moment they were sharing. I was struck by the tenderness and the love they must have had for one another. I smiled to myself and thought – I want that – I want what they have.
I never knew her. Not really. But her face and her smile and her laughter are familiar to me. A quick introduction at a fundraising event and nothing more. But she left an impact, an impression. There were the deep liquid brown eyes that had a glimmer of hope swimming around inside of them. There was a smile that was quick and bright and knowing. When she smiled you felt you had to return the favor – and smile right back – that was such an amazing gift to have. There was an awareness of the room and everyone in it – as if she were watching for the next thing to happen – the next opportunity to change a misperception or bring awareness to what was near to her heart and to her very young life.
Oscar Wilde said that memories are the diaries that we all carry within us. We have our unique life experiences and interpretations of all the days that have come before. They are private and shared at our own discretion to those we chose to allow into our hearts and our lives. We carry them with us always and keep them locked safely in our hearts and minds.
I wanted to share my memory of a girl I did not know – but who gave me hope and a smile without ever even knowing. Her name was Christina Santiago.
About K. Guzman
Kathy grew up all over the US - lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.