NEXT OF KIN
Caitlin Hicks at Smashwords
Copyright (c) 2011 by Caitlin Hicks
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First published in MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL (2003), Wisconsin, as
A visit for remembrance
It is a story that began and ended before I existed. All the words were spoken, the songs sung, promises made, kisses exchanged, letters, flowers and telegrams -- all just a memory before my parents even met.
Yet, even after they loved and married and I materialized, six births later, the story carried on in my mother’s heart. Even now, long after my mother’s heart has stopped beating, the story carries on in mine.
When I was fifteen, my sister Mary showed me a newspaper clipping she found in Mother’s cedar chest in the tool shed. On a smoggy summer Pasadena day, Mary had lured us into the cobwebbed darkness one by one, with the promise of a really good secret.