Today is Stephie's Birthday. She would be 44 years old. She's been gone for 12 years. Those are substantial numbers and even a more substantially large hole in my heart.
I get shy when I begin talking about Stephie. I feel exposed. I remember so much about her everyday and yet I hardly have any pictures of her here at my apartment. Most of them are in an album at my parents'. She left before selfies were the norm and cell phones were attached to our bodies. I remember her bitching about dial up and AOL on her clunker PC so she could message me.
I see her in people's faces often. Mostly their mouths. She had this distinctive mouth. I call it a Stephie mouth. I'll be watching a movie, or catch a rare news report and I'll freeze. Someone will be talking and all I see is their mouth. I sink back into myself and sometimes I cry. Other times I smile that I'm so lucky to still be here getting to remember her in something so random as Tori Kelly's mouth.
I hope wonderful words of love come out your mouths today.