Monday, September 10, 2007

Two years

Two years ago was the last time I saw April, my April Love. The circumstances of her death were horrible and the lost huge. April was one of my closest friends and her death left a big void that will only be filled again when I meet her in heaven and hear her sweet voice and her laugh again, when I can hug her and tell her how much I missed her after she left.

I miss her calls and the way she talked, that sweet Southern accent. I miss how I could just call her and we'll be together in the next half and hour, and how she encouraged me to do best... always. How even if a class was difficult or if the project at hand was ridiculously long or seemed impossible to finish, she always said, with a smile "it'll be fine!" and then we would take a break. We were always taking breaks in between studying. I loved that, because we would talk, then read, then talk some more, then read, then we would just look at each other and smile... and we understood we were ready for some food. Ay, my April... those dinner breaks would go from planned minutes to hours of talking and laughing. But when we needed to study, we'd get it done and we'd do it right. Those As didn't come from only sitting pretty at the library. And I will never never forget the night she was studying Spanish, for a quiz first thing next morning, and when I started helping her with the vocabulary cards she'd made from pages of old print outs. That night we talked so much Spanish, and we used funny associations so that she'd remember what things were. We new what "estoy cansada" meant. And then, that next day, with a big smile and a hug she told me she got a perfect score on that quiz. MAN, that was great. I miss those celebrations. I remember when she was filling out the application for the internship with the Black Caucus in DC that summer... it was really close to the deadline, of course. But ay, we were so excited, and then when she told me she got it, we jumped and hugged at the ballroom at a BGSA event. She was SO happy, even more when I told her I would be in DC for a week at the AAUW conference... we started planning to meet in the city and what to do, and all that.

We came to be really close friends almost since the beginning, because of her friendly, open nature I found to be so rare with most of others I had known here. But she was great, and she included me in things, and she was so honest all the time. We talked about everything, for hours. That night at the Multicultural Retreat was were we became really close. We were roommates and so awake until so late. Our laughs drove Rosalba from the room next door, and Shonda from the room on the other side of the house were we stayed. That night was great. It was the beginning our the true friendship of the four of us. Those ladies... I love those ladies. And I was so hurt when none of them walked with me at commencement. Life just took so many turns. And didn't let us walk together.

April made me part of her family. I have so clear in my mind the time when she stopped reading and looked at me at that table in the periodical rooms at the library and she asked if I wanted to come visit her for a few days and meet her family down in Hope. I said yes at once and got so excited. "You should come stay at home with me some time this summer" she said. I had a great time in Hope, and I got to know her parents, her grandparents, her cousins, and some friends. We went by her church, by her high school, by Bill Clinton's home in Hope.

And then she was taken just a few months later.
I miss her so much. And I believe she's better, but I get so mad sometimes that we can't talk anymore, that we can't laugh, and we can't discuss articles in the newspaper and talk about politics. I mostly get mad at the lose of this country. I know she would have made it far in politics. I would have been a campaign...something...but I would have been with her. This world missed out on knowing April Love. And I talk about her and write about her so much because I want other to know her and how wonderful she was, and how deeply she impacted my life. I have her in mind when I dream big. And I think of what she would say, and what words she would use to tell me I can do whatever I want because I'm so strong.... her words were always empowering. Always.

"Cuando por las noches mires al cielo,
al pensar que en una de aquellas estrellas estoy yo riendo,
será para ti como si todas las estrellas riesen.
¡Tú tendrás estrellas que saben reír!....
Cuando te hayas consolado (siempre se consuela uno)
estarás contento de haberme conocido.
Serás mi amiga y tendrás ganas de reír conmigo.
Algunas veces abrirás tu ventana sólo por placer
y tus amigos quedarán asombrados de verte reír
mirando al cielo.
Tú les explicarás: "Las estrellas me hacen reír siempre."
-- de El Principito (The Little Prince)

Hasta siempre, Abril Amor... 1985-2005