Take My Hand

Come on, let’s go.

Every time, as a child, I never crossed the street without the guidance of my older brother.  He’d always notice me, stopping at the edge of the sidewalk, toes hanging off, but feet firmly planted on the ground.  I refused to move, no matter how clear the road, that a light could show the walking symbol, or how frozen the picture of cars waiting patiently at a stop sign or pedestrian walk.  He would always notice my hesitation and my fear, and have to come back for me.  Yes, he’d be somewhat annoyed, but no matter what, he’d always come back.

Where are you now?  What happened?  What did I do?

I sat, trying to hold back the tears, trying to stay strong.  I was supposed to be happy today.  Of all days, I was supposed to be happy.

I stared at a picture of us as kids, your arms wrapped around me, you were my protector.  When the bullies teased me, when guys didn’t treat me with respect, when I went to prom, when I got drunk, when I graduated from school, you were always there.  Always.

So now, now that I’m a grown woman, and ready to walk down that aisle, I can’t help but look for you.

But now, you’re nowhere.  It’s been four years since the accident.  The one that took mom and dad.  It’s been four years since you up and left, since you disappeared.  Aunt Tina and Uncle Ben wrote to you.  They never heard back.  I wrote to you.  You wrote back at first but then you stopped.  Why?

Tears trickled down my face as I wiped it away from beneath my vail.  It was time.

I stood in the hall, before the giant doors, waiting for the music to start.

I wish you were here.

The sound of the organ resonated from behind the doors, playing my queue.  The doors opened, revealing a crowd of smiling faces.  I took a step forward, then hesitated, almost freezing in place.  It must’ve been no longer than 2 seconds but felt like I had stopped for much longer than that.  Suddenly, a cough from the side drew my attention.

Why was my husband here?  Why wasn’t he in front where he was supposed to be?

And in the seconds after, I knew exactly why.  He smiled, excited, and said,

“Take my hand.  Come on, let’s go.”


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