I've decided that I don't want to get any older. Not because I'm afraid of wrinkles, or sagging...but because it means that everyone around me is getting older too. All of the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and family friends that I grew up with are growing old, too. And as much as death is a fact of life, it still doesn't make it any easier.
My Aunt Sarah passed away this morning. I remember being a child and playing at her house - running around on the land behind the house, catching snapping turtles with my cousins, feeding the goats, and giving our city cousins bags to go up into the woods hunting snipes. I remember the hay rides around Halloween time, when my Uncle Charles drove all us kids around on a trailer attached to the back of the truck, up to the cabin at the top of the hill - the one that the hunters stayed in when they came to my aunt and uncle's fox farm - where we built a fire outside and roasted marshmallows, sneaking the occasional one to a brave fox that didn't mind getting a little closer to our rambunctious group.
I remember watching my Aunt Sarah as she sat in front of her sewing machine, making the most beautiful quilts I've seen in my life. I won't ever in my life understand how she was able to churn out beautiful piece after beautiful piece, the stitches in little hearts or flowers, or the most delicate little swirl patterns. I remember, after we moved to Texas, waiting eagerly around holidays for the package that would come from her. My favorite as a child was the quilt she made just for me - purple, with unicorns. My favorite now, is one she made for my mother, embellished with doves and praying hands, in the most beautiful periwinkle and white.
I know she was getting older. I know she was sick. I know that now, she is in a better place, and that all of her suffering has been lifted from her. But that doesn't make it any easier.
I want to stop time. Rewind, even. Go back to my childhood, when I didn't quite understand mortality, or know that, as I got older, I would lose those nearest and dearest to me.
I don't know what emotion I'm feeling right now. I'm angry, but sad. I feel vulnerable and scared. I feel numb and empty.
I don't want to grow up anymore.