This Is What Missing Her Feels Like

Prologue: The Danger of Non-Fiction

We almost hit him. We didn't. But it was close.

An old man was backing out of his driveway as we'd rounded the bend, and Dad screeched to a stop. We sat there breathing heavily as the old man finished backing out, one centimeter at a time.

"Well," Dad said. "He probably shouldn't be driving, huh girls?"
"He's slow as molasses!" said 10-year-old Aleisha.

"You almost hit him," I said, thirteen and ever-so-sassy.
"Can you both remember his license plate? Just in case we need it later."

"7022 HB," Aleisha read.
"Will you remember that in an hour?"
"7022 HB, 7022 HB, 7022 HB," I said. "Repeat it with me, Al."

"7022 HB, 7022 HB, 7022 HB," we chanted together.
"Think you'll remember it in an hour?" Dad smirked at us.
"Yep, we will," I said.

A year later I made the four digits my debit card pin. And now, more than ten years later, I made it the code on my library card.

This summer I was back in Maine driving that familiar road, and I saw that same car we'd almost hit sitting in the driveway. The license plate was 7222 HD. I'd been repeating it wrong for more than a decade.

I tell you this only to warn you. This book is non-fiction, which means it is as close to the truth as I could possibly tell you—my truth that is. It means I will share my heart with you in hopes that it will sit with you through your own kind of missing someday. But I'm certain there are moments I will retell imprecisely, just a bit off the mark.

I can't help but wonder though: what shapes a person more– the way the day happened or the way you always remember it?