I was a perfectionist as a child (as much as one can be at a young age, anyway). The slip of my crayon outside the lines would cause me great consternation. I developed a fool-proof method to keep from making this grievous error - I would outline inside the line, and color inside that line, thus leaving a small margin for hiccups. I didn't develop this brilliant adaptation until I was 6 or so, and there is no remaining evidence of my crayon genius. There is one coloring book, though, (my favoritist of favorites!) from when I was about four years old:
My grandmother saved it, along with my sister's copy, and tucked them away, unbeknownst to her grandchildren, in a closet for someday. That someday came when I was in my mid-twenties, called home from overseas duty by my grandfather. Some months after the funeral, when I was home again on leave, my grandfather asked my mother and I to sort out his house and my grandmother's belongings. When we found the coloring books - did I mention favoritist of favorites? - I wept with joy over discovering them, over renewed grief that someone who had loved me so much was gone.
I was working on a digital collage today, scratching away at the image in colorful aqua lines, thinking how much like coloring with crayons it was...
...and I went hunting for that old coloring book. I remembered that I gave my late sister, Angel, her copy for Christmas that year it was found, and that she too wept with happiness and sadness.
Another Christmas is fast approaching; it's been a month and a half since my sister's death. I flipped through the pages of my old coloring book, and lingered on memories of childhood with my sister, and I wept - with joy from the memories, and with renewed grief that someone I love so much is gone.