I’m going to stand by my opinion that Braid remains one of the best bands of all time.
That opinion may be greatly influenced by the timing of my Braid experience: new town (Chicago), new family (Sena and Alise), new experiences (Job, computers).
Regardless, every time I hear “First Day Back” I get a huge hankering to just drop whatever I am doing and dance crazy.
“to what do i owe this attention
i’m only half of the reflection
and the conversation goes
I can’t believe it has been five years.
I remember sitting at my office as Sena came in carrying a “It’s a Baby!” balloon trumpeting your impending arrival.
You were born so quickly, so easily. You gave us no problems on your way into this world. You want to grow up quicker than we want you to; You want to be big.
I watched you at Chuck E Cheese with your little friends. You have such a loving heart, my little angel. You share everything with everyone – your toys, your candy, yourself. I worry people will take advantage of that eventually, but then I remember you’re Keylie, and you don’t let anyone take advantage of you.
I think sometimes of how small and smart and fragile you sometimes seem, sleeping beside me on the couch as you drift and snore softly late at night.
Where are the years going, I wonder. Things seem to be speeding up for me, leading me further away from you as you become more and more independent.
I look at you and your sister and your brother and I can’t help feel worried that I’ll never be able to do enough for you all. But then you look at me with those crystal blue eyes, smile and say ‘I love you daddy’ and for a moment, everything freezes and I know I’m doing something right.
Happy Birthday, my little princess; my little ‘keke bird’ – may everyday make you feel this special.
You were a great friend. You listened to our family, in good and bad, never judging our pettiness and inane banter.
All you asked in return was some attention, possibly a stroll around the house in your big pink ball of doom. And always to be scratched between the eyes. Oh how you squealed with excitement at that.
You were older than Keylie and so full of life. I’ll miss you, even if everyone raised an eyebrow at our undying love for a common Chile rodent.
I’m not ashamed to admit everyone cried on the last day you were alive. Even my mom who called you ‘Jack the Rat’, was sad to hear you were going home to Degu Heaven, as Alise called it.
We buried you wrapped in Kleenex in a Stride-Rite box in the backyard. Wrapped over and over with masking tape and topped with a printed picture of you when you were younger.
Everyone signed the picture with love, like a guestbook at a funeral. The girls cried and then laughed remembering how you so loved to get out of things. I think they hoped you would find a way out of your makeshift coffin.
Keylie picked dandelions and placed them on your grave. She has been doing it everyday since you died.
Rest in peace, Jack.