to the people i count

(photo circa 2009 • meg duerksen)

i’ve sung for them to come and like sweet livestock, they squeeze through the door opening. we’ve started our collective lamaze-style shh-shh-shhhhhhh and i quickly whisper count each of them before closing the door. once i’ve reached the magic 13, i always tell them, “you are more than a number to me”…they are skin and bones and smiles and fear and wonder and knowledge and dirt under fingernails and fuzzy hair and spirit and soul and fierce love…so much more than a number.

but there are people walking this earth today who, for a moment, are simply numbers to me.

and to you, unknowingly numbered people, thank you.

in a store or on the sidewalk or driving past, there are days i count you. one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four…

at least one out of four people is a survivor of child sexual abuse.

and you random number fours are the antidote to my lonely grief.

i’ve done this to seven. one-two-three-four-five-six-seven, one-two-three-four-five-six-seven.  when i needed to see that at least one out of seven people has experienced miscarriage.  then i remember when i was pregnant following miscarriage i gave everyone the number one. every single person i saw was the result of a successful pregnancy. every person i saw a visible reminder to hope. one, one more, one more, one more.

and sometimes i count each person i see now as one. every single one of us with a story. every single one of us with a hell. every single one of us survivors. every single one of us with memories. every single one of us with a voice. every single one of us. every single one of us one of us. one. one. one. one. one.

Screen shot 2013-10-14 at 2.36.56 PM

“the worst part of holding the memories is not the pain.
it’s the loneliness of it. memories need to be shared.”

-lowry

Advertisements

One thought on “to the people i count

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s