I saw you come in this time. Normally I don't see you, hear you, feel you, or even smell your perfume that smells like magnolia flowers when you come in, but this time I did.  Now I'm sitting here at the table watching as you make your way to your seat. It's right beside mine. One seat to the left. As usual, your little coffee jar filled with turmeric powder is there. So is your black tray with powdered milk, sugar, instant coffee, and your other breakfast essentials. I take one look at you, but our eyes don't meet. Even so, now I see why I saw you this time.

    Your hands are different. The left one is starting to grow a little bit plump, but the right one is the same skin clutching tightly around the bones as always. I only noticed this now, but this isn't why I saw you come in this time.

    Your face is starting to sag a little bit. Not your expression, but your face. Your wrinkles are playing some kind of game. They keep switching positions as if trying to irritate you, making you wonder if you're looking younger or older. I only noticed this now, but this isn't why I saw you come in this time.

    Your breath comes in heavy gasps, as if trying to remind your lungs how good air tastes, how beautiful it is to breathe in oxygen despite all those chemicals of all colours mixed into some kind of unhealthy gas. It reminds me of how your life was like, of how your life is like. You patiently walk it through. You aren't afraid of hurricanes and tsunamis, of losing people and responsibilities or even being alone. You just walk it through. It's beautiful in your eyes. There is so much wonder in you even as I hear your phlegm try to block your airways but your face shows no pain. I only noticed this now, but this isn't why I saw you come in this time.

    Lola, I saw you come in because I'd forgotten you were gone. Sometimes I don't go through life as you did. I don't walk, I run. I'm afraid. I have big dreams but my hands aren't steady enough to hold them all. But this time was one of those times I did breathe. I stopped. I listened. I wondered.

    And that's when I saw you come in.

    Walk this through with me. Please.

    For my FA 10 Visual Perception class, we did an automatic writing exercise. No thinking, erasing, stopping. Just write and write and write for ten minutes straight, starting with the phrase "I saw..." So this is my piece in its rawest form and the visual we had to make to accompany it.

    I encourage you to try this exercise. It shows you what's really on your mind, things that you didn't even know you were thinking. Most of all, it shows you, well....


    It's been a year and five days, but this piece is proof that she's never left my mind since.

    Also, this photo is and always will be my favorite out of all the photos I've ever taken and will take.