“How many games of basketball do you think we played with this old toy hoop?” “Remember all the ping pong games we played down here?” “Oh! We used this little ball with the bell inside to make the noise for the seance we put on that scared you so much, Val.” “The xylophone!” “The turtle!” “The rabbit! That thing always scared me.” “ME TOO!”
We located our tools: a screwdriver and a hammer. We chose our wall: The wall with the basketball hoop, closest to where the stash of toys always lay. And one by one, we chiseled our initials into the wall. Into our basement.
Our parents built that house for our Grandma. But the basement was our domain. It was where we fought, where we played, where we made the Rockwellian memories of family holidays spent together rough-housing as cousins. It was where we were together.
Miles, and circumstances, and personality differences may separate us… But our initials will always testify to the fact that we love one another. As we finished we looked around at one another and for one instant knew that in this loss, and in this life, we were in it together.