There was a note on my desk: “Don’t forget.” The post-it had been there for two years but still adhered like magic. The perfect penmanship hadn’t faded and smeared one bit.Everyone who walked by my desk asked what the note was about. I would just smile at them. Invariably they would be disappointed and move along with their day. I would then just look at the note and smile again.“Don’t forget,” it said. I smiled.“Don’t forget,” Melissa had said, beaming at me as she was wheeled off in a simple gown that brought her no shame. “Don’t forget to smile, no matter what. I won’t let you forget.”I never did forget.
Don't Forget The morning fog brought me back to a time of extraordinary memories, memories that have overlapped inside my head so many times. Yet after a year I still feel forgotten, I still feel lost…I still…. When she was born a lonesome dove perched outside my window. I believe at that moment God had sent me an angel. Through drug addiction, alcoholism and promiscuous behavior God did not forsake me but instead gave me life. He gave me a child born into a world of hate but a world so full of beauty. I vowed on the day she took her first breath that I would never let her see the hate, she would always see the beautiful… you see, she was my HIV baby…for this I have no excuse. We lived six whole years together in full bliss and even though it was hard we never forgot how beautiful the world could be. In and out of hospitals together, suffering together from the pain of losing our lives but we never forgot. On her third birthday, God gave us the gift of sunlight. The sunlight shown through our kitchen window and we painted in with glitter. Tiny feet prints of glitter spilled out on our kitchen floor. Moments we shared, that no one could ever take away. She always loved post-its. She couldn’t get enough of them, such a silly girl. There were always post-its on the bathroom mirrors, reminding me for us to take our meds. A post-it on the fridge “pancakes for breakfast”. And of course the post-it on the window full of glitter where the sun would shine in. November 30th her sixth birthday, the hospital gave her a party but try as much as she did; her body was too far gone. Details of this memory are faded, tears fogged my mind as the fogged rolled in outside. “Mommy where is the sun?” She sweetly asked.I looked at her pale face. “It’s waiting for you baby, all you have to do is close your eyes and sleep. The sun will make you warm.”“Mommy can I have a post it.”“Of course my darling angle.” With her tiny fragile hand she took the pen. Tears filled her eyes and with one last effort she wrote.“Don’t forget.” Then she closed her eyes and God took my angel away.Until my dyeing day I will never forget the sun, the glitter and my beautiful angel.
As the alarm tugged on my dreamless sleep, my hands felt cold. Icicles possessed more warmth.I reached for the snooze button, slapping furiously at the annoying contrivance. It was an exercise in futility.As my eyes butterflied open, my vision was blurry. It was then that I noticed the post-it note stuck to my forehead."Don't Forget" it announced.I was insulted. I knew what I needed to do. Her constant badgering and reminder were starting to really piss me off. OK, so I did let a couple of anniversaries slip past me. And the dinner for her promotion at work was a big deal, but I had those tickets for a month and a half. She claims there were three other "events" I totally left off my radar screen, but I don't remember any of them. Not now, and not then.I wiped my hand across my eyes to dislodge the crusty sleepers from their corner resting place.Dangling from each finger was a string knotted. A reminder of the maximum degree. I wasn't amused, and she had tied them a bit too tight. No wonder my fingers were frozen. She cut off my damn circulation.All through a hot shower and dressing for work, I was perturbed by her smugness. I had been good lately. I thought so anyway. I guess one man's "good", is another woman's "dreadful". "You know what? Screw her." I declared as I started the trek to work. The six inches of snow that fell through the night did nothing to ease my frustration. I drove on.Her work Holiday Party was tonight. Sort of a big deal to her. I knew she wanted to make an impression on her new boss. I couldn't see what my presence would do to enhance her chances.I decided to play her game. I rented a tuxedo. It was formal dress anyway, so I figured a tux would be killer. I ordered a limousine for the night. She'll be surprised and I'll make beau coup points with her.The arrangements were all set as I shuffled the papers on my desk. I flipped the page on my day planner just as my phone started to ring."Hello?" I answered.I was greeted by a verbal assault of obscenities. "You stupid son-of-a-bitch" she screamed, "I knew you'd forget. I can't count on you for any..."I cut her off in mid-sentence."Whoa! For your information, I ordered a tuxedo and rented a limo for the evening. We're going in style." I informed her confidently."What the hell are you talking about?" she screamed further."For your party" I reminded her."You Asshole" she blared furiously, "My party's tomorrow night."I nervously glanced at the calendar reminder."Oh Shit!" I muttered to myself."You were supposed to pick my mother up from the airport forty-five minutes ago. She had to take a cab!" her voice broke up as she screeched. "Oops, my bad" I apologized.All I heard was the assumed violent slam of her phone receiver in its cradle.
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