On December 23, 2000, Elizabeth attended her first black tie event in the middle of a snow storm that left three feet on the ground before dawn. This was her third corporate event; the first, a heated discussion with Human Resources, followed seventy-two hours later by an all hands on deck strategy meeting. A week at West Palm and another in Orlando were already on the calendar.
When she arrived at the Party, she was approximately sixteen thousand, five hundred and sixty minutes old. Her food supply firmly established, she wanted for nothing and was quietly passed from one set of arms to the next. The infant belonged to the community and the community belonged to the girl.
We don't remember being twelve days old, but the events and people that shape our lives remember us. Discrete thoughts and memories are not innate, they are taught. A baby's world is a swirl of overlapping moments; taste, texture, smell, and sound are indistinguishable. Don't ever make the mistake of believing that any moment is missed or lost. It's all still right there.
There is a man in a tuxedo with a too tight shirt collar. He doesn't feel right. Compounded anxiety and tension are held at bay by brute force, although you can see it beginning to break though his pores. He stands surrounded by an onslaught of people and noise. Elizabeth, cradled in his arms for the first time, has temporarily cancelled the room. He looks at her face and pulls her closer. The gravity of human connection releases his shoulders and softens his face. I saw that vulnerability two days before he died. It was the same thing; the gravity of human connection releasing fear and pain one last time.
These moments wove themselves into her DNA; the gift of the last fairy.
In memory of Jeff "Sparky" Merriman, the last fairy.