I remember that we were both wearing brand new white tennis shoes when we met 17 years ago. On our first day of school, we were the first graders standing together at the end of the line. We’ve been side by side ever since.
When I think about all the memories we’ve shared, I think about the colors.
All through school we passed letters back and forth with our hot pink writing scribbled on the lines. I remember those carefree days we spent at your grammy’s house, feeding her horse orange carrots. We learned how to put on makeup with a few bright pink and dark brown lipstick mistakes.
We would climb out onto my roof to stare up at the indigo sky and tiny white stars.
It seemed like our whole childhood was spent jumping on that black trampoline eating our favorite brown Bar-B-Q sunflower seeds.
When it rained, we would sit under umbrellas in that bright yellow boat and float out into the middle of the pool. When we picked out our bathing suits, the colors never mattered because even when we swore we wouldn’t, we always seemed to pick the same ones.
Some of my favorite summer moments were in the clear blue water of my pool. We would shove crisp green pickles into our mouths and do back flips into the pool or make up some random dance to show my mom.
We took my mom’s gray Corolla around the complex a few hundred times, with her permission most of the time. Boyfriends came and went along with some colorful hairstyles we wish we could forget. We smiled in those picture booths in front of that blue background as the years passed.
You were there looking through the window when my pink baby girl came into the world. At every birthday you’re there with another colorful toy that ends up being one of her favorites. She loves her godmother and always thinks it’s you when she sees a black truck drive by.
I may not remember much because of my “chemo brain” but I know you were in the chair by my bed when that red bone marrow flowed into my veins and saved my life. In those colorless hospital rooms, you didn’t look away when I was bald and throwing up.
The red and green of Christmas will always remind you of the day in 2005 that you lost your mom and five days later, your grammy. Last January, we stood together under that beautiful blue sky and said goodbye to them. Our black skirts flapped in the wind as our high heels dug into the green grass and we cried together.
They were two of the most colorful people, and when they left they took some of the luminance of this world with them.
We have been through so much together in our young lives – from that first day when I told my mom I had a new friend named “Jello,” to the grown up losses we’re experiencing now.
We have shared the colors of this life together and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
With your sorrow and confusion, right now the colors may not seem as bright. But I promise that I will be here for you through it all.
As your life witness, I am here for you now and I will be there for you still when the colors reawaken.
Angie Gangi, a senior broadcast journalism major, is news editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.