One of our challenges in writing Memoir is to look at our own lives with a kind of objectivity usually reserved for therapists, priests or philosophers. In class last June Rachel challenged us to write our own obituaries. However morose, this exercise helped me to add a measure of self-awareness to my efforts. I keep the original taped above the desk where I write to remind me who I am.
IF I DIED TODAY
Nobody thought she would live past twenty five.
Dufflyn Lammers was a reckless woman. Full of life,
like a sunflower in a field of daisies.
She was always driving too close to the edge
of the cliff. She lived like she meant it. Like she knew
she would die young.
She was a loyal friend. She was the only one who wasn't sure
she'd be a good mother. She was a good daughter.
She could be cruel if she had to. She was the one you wanted
next to you in a foxhole, or a cubicle, or a car torn half to bits.
She was brave. And wise. She was comfortable in her own skin.
She was independent, headstrong, and moody.
She liked anything new,
tried a lot of things once. She had a laugh that invited the world
to laugh with her--laughed with abandon--as if it would get her
closer to God.
One had the impression that she wanted to be closer to God,
even as she defied him. She loved her cat.
She loved many men. One who as good to her. One who broke
her heart. One who made her happy.
She would have said that regrets are a waste of time.
Then she would have offered to show you her collection.