I don’t know if you would remember that we were homeless. I suspect that you didn’t—wouldn’t—and I am grateful for that. But if you did, I would want you to know that I’m not homeless now. I may have too many homes, which sounds like a stupid thing to perceive as a problem.
It is, for me, to some degree, because no matter which home I’m in, I’m homesick. Southern California is home to me now, and that’s especially true of the physical space I share with what has become my family. But the places I lived with you are still home, too, and so is the place where you’re buried.
I have a new home, now, as well, that I haven’t ever been to, with the family I lost before you found me.
(I didn’t tell you when I found them, even though you were still here, because I thought it might make you more afraid, scared that you would somehow become less than; a thing which could never happen.)
It saddens me that you have never—will never—see this place, or the other, and that I can only see you in pictures and in memories; in good dreams and in nightmares.
(I dream about you all the time; of being unable to find you, or reach you; of you being on your own and being in those years when you couldn’t be, and me being unable to help you.)
(I dream that you are angry with me, and I hope that isn’t the case.)
When I’m awake I dream of going back, or at least going close enough to visit; taking my little family with me; reuniting with the old family; meeting the older, new one; and being able to feel you in nearby spaces, even if it’s only my own hauntedness which makes that feeling real.
Someday, I’ll cross the desert again; leave sunshine and drought for storms and seasons. I’ll say hello, but never goodbye, and I’ll hold the flowers in my hand before I place them on your grave.