Tag Archives: rest in peace

A Poem for my Friend

10301515_10101125694356362_5792222484213705208_nMy beautiful, kind-hearted friend Michelle Monachino recently passed away, and I’ve been feeling miserable as I deal with losing such a wonderful beacon of light in my life. Michelle used to write me poems all the time (most of which made fun of me for being short or for enjoying editing), and I realized that I never wrote her one back. Ever. That’s definitely one of my biggest regrets, which may seem silly, but I just wish I wrote her a poem at least once. So I figured, even though I suck at poetry, better late than never.

Michelle, Michelle
I want to scream, I want to yell
At you, at strangers, at the sky
But instead I’ll opt for a heavy sigh

Could I have done more?
Should I have done less?
This whole situation has my brain in a mess

When we met freshman year
On Whitney’s third floor, full of innocent fear
You described yourself as a JewBu
And I needed to know more about you

Who was this cool chick
With big curly hair and a free spirit aura
I knew I had to befriend this girl from my floor

So we gossiped and had sleep overs and drank too much beer
After all, it was freshman year
There was that one party where I wore baggy sweatpants
A moment that you never let me forget

And through ups and downs in that first college year
It never escaped my sentimental attention
That you were my first friend at good ol’ Binghamton

By junior year you were living on my couch
Wait, did I say couch?
I meant in my bed
That is where you were actually living instead

Times spent together were always a blast
We danced and sang and formed a fake band
Jammed out to Backstreet Boys with our feet in the sand

Watched movies and ate way too much food
Did yoga and talked about all of our moods
We bonded over our varying worries
I knew I could always go to you when my heart was in flurries

We wrote in our journals e parlavamo in italiano
Reminisced about past moments that felt so clear
And entertained ideas of futures too near

And although we didn’t see each other in over a year
We both held our friendship ever so dear
Plus, we were connected through all kinds of digital means
And now when I miss you, I can pull your words up on a screen

These upcoming days are going to be rough
I’m fated to cry pretty much every time
I hear Britney or BSB make a clever rhyme

And if I see anything that resembles high fashion
Or a woman dressed with Audrey Hepburn inspired passion
I’ll think of the time Shana and I coached you for your audition
(America’s Next Top Model doesn’t know what they were missing)

The memories abound and feel almost overwhelming
But what I’ll miss most, it’s undoubtedly true
Are our long conversations, just me and you

You’ll always be one of my closest, best friends
That’s a promise I’ll hold till the end
And despite the fact that you’re no longer here
I’ll think back on our memories with nothing but cheer

I miss you, Michelle
There’s nothing more true
And please don’t forget that I’ll love you forever, too

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In Memory of my Inspiration

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One year ago today, one of the most influential and important people in my life passed away: my mema. In a year where I was faced with a lot of anxieties and various stressors, I could always rely on my mema to support me in whatever I chose to do.

She was the person who told me to go for things that my parents were quick to say no to. She was probably the only person in my family who thought it wasn’t a big deal that I wanted to visit Russia last year. She recognized that I went to school for Creative Writing and therefore enjoyed writing especially in my spare time, and also understood that this didn’t mean that I wanted to be a journalist. She was liberal and very politically and socially aware for an eighty year old woman, supporting gay marriage and refusing to understand racial stereotypes. She felt bad for Barack Obama and thought he had a lot to deal with when he came to office, and that maybe people were being a little too hard on him. When I wanted to leave Long Island for college, she supported it. And then when I decided to study abroad in Italy, she only told me to have an amazing time and be safe – she never argued and told me it was something I shouldn’t do.

In my life I have been met with a lot of resistance from my family, which I know comes with only good intentions. However it gets to be very frustrating to constantly have a barrage of negative, limiting responses when I express interest in doing something different or “scary.” And that’s where my mema came in – to agree with me, support me, and never doubt that I could do anything despite how far outside my comfort zone I might be trying to leap.

I miss having the chance to her to talk to about what’s going on in the news, or telling her what I’m trying to do in my life. She is probably the only person who ever told me to continue writing, which is a big part of why I’m trying so hard to make it as big of a priority as it once was. And that isn’t the only way she inspired me; I aim to be a more positive and happy person because of how she always was. I like to think she’s happy, where ever she may now be, because whenever I have a dream and she’s in it, she’s smiling and laughing.

Death is a scary son of a bitch that steals people from us to take them to a place that no one in the world even slightly understands. It’s hard and painful, but we take what we can from those people to better ourselves and hold a piece of them with us forever. And that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.

I miss you every day, mema, and I’ll continue to see you in my dreams.

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