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The Sound of Water by Marjory Alger

artwork by Grant Gregoire


When I was seven I went to the mountains in Colorado for the first time. It was right after a tragedy had occurred in my life. I was young and confused about what was happening. One distinctive memory I have from being in the mountains is the sound of the running water. In streams, in lakes, anywhere where water was, we stopped and listened. The rhythm of it running made my mind feel like a clear, empty space. The older I got, the more the sound of the running water meant to me. Reminding me that everything is always moving, and that it is healthy to slow down and listen to what is going on in the present. God is that peace.

My grandparents are some of the most loving people I’ve ever known in my life. I couldn’t even imagine going through what they went through. My mother passed away when I was seven. Loss is never an easy thing and often when parents lose a child it tests the parents' relationship too. When my mother passed away, it turned my grandparent’s worlds upside down and altered mine forever. After it happened, they chose to do things to make our family even stronger than before.

One of the first things we did after it all was take a trip to Colorado with our cousins. It was a chance to all be together, relax, and enjoy the time. On the trip, we went on many hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park and made lots of fun memories. I know that being together after what had happened and having so much fun meant a lot to my grandparents.

My Pop (my mom’s dad) loves to sit and listen to the streams run. He is a peaceful man but has done and been through a lot in his lifetime. Listening to water run with him meant so much to me. Now it makes me think of him. It also makes me feel grounded and relaxed. I have had a hard time finding things that make me feel that way.

I can’t remember a whole lot from my childhood, but I remember being happy and my mom always making sure my brother and I had fun. I remember going through a stage in life where I was just confused about why she was taken away from me. I was also a kid just living life and trying to have as much fun as possible. My memories of this time in my life were pretty jumbled, but every summer after my mom passed away, we would take that trip to Colorado.

Every year it meant more to me and made more sense in my head. Looking back, there are so many things that meant so much to me from those trips. Laughter, hummingbirds, saltwater taffy, rock cairns, and more. I remember family group hugs, and my grandparents always sharing memories about my mom. They have done so much to make sure my brother and I remember how much she loved us, and they always remind us how witty and amazing she was. We would always walk to a stream and listen to it run. The four of us, my brother, my Gus, and my Pop, would stand in a circle and hold hands. We would talk about what we are thankful for and my mother would never go unsaid. Then we would share a big group hug and a couple of tears too. In the background, I can always hear the stream running. Constantly running, just like our lives and our love.

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