The letter Y

Jessy was my whole life. I never knew anything different than Jessy. That’s what my parents called me, that’s what my family and friends called me, that’s how I wrote my own name, that’s who I was. Jessy. With a Y.

But one day, there was no Y anymore. I’d like to say it happened slowly, but that’d be a lie – it was a deliberate move on my part. I just started introducing myself as Jess. It wasn’t who I was, it was who I became.

And you may say – A rose by any other name would smell as sweet – and you may say – Your brain is meat, and rots and disappears. Do you really think that’s all there was to you? Like you’re in your house right now. You’re in your house, that doesn’t mean you are your house. House falls down, you get out and walk away. – but it’s not that simple, because one moment you are someone and the very next moment you are someone different.

Jess was more serious, Jess got things done, Jess was the professional. Jess had a purpose. Jessy was the one that could be vulnerable, that could be silly, and that could just be without a care in the world. And you may say, I could be both, but somehow – I simply cannot. I can be one or the other, I cannot be both. And if you know me, you may argue, that I am actually both – that I’ve always been both, because you cannot separate these two sides in me, but I suppose, to fully understand, you have to dig deeper.

See, Jessy was the one whose heart broke a million pieces and who to this day carries a lot of pain for the memories that are not meant to be. When I lost someone very near and dear to me, and when I realised I’d never hear her say my name ever again, that’s when I knew, I couldn’t carry on being Jessy, I just simply couldn’t. I had to make sure that I wasn’t looking for anyone else to say my name the way she used to…

It’s been over ten years, and there is still a gaping whole in my heart for the person that was meant to be here, every single step of the way, and she simply isn’t there. I keep looking although I know she is gone, not to return. That in itself isn’t a bad thing, if it weren’t for me starting to forget what she looked like, what she smelled like, what she felt like, her soft skin, her wrinkled hands, her piercing blue eyes, her love. My love. Oh, all the love.

So, when I became Jess, I had to let that piece of me go, and somehow I let go a lot of other things too. Things I thought needed to have, because I wanted to be like her, I wanted to make her proud, I wanted her to say my name, over and over and over again.

But the silence is deafening, and all I hear is people calling me Jess… I’ve gotten used to it, but part of me still feels like I am missing the Y. I am missing Jessy, today more so, than ever, she would have been 69 – no age at all. She would have loved my stories. She would have loved my life. She would have loved it all and she would have said my name every time I called her… She would have picked up her phone today, and I would have wished her a happy birthday and then I would have told her how my day went and then she would have just said, Jessy, I love you. But she can’t say it anymore but I can carry on her legacy.

So, if you are like me, and you are struggling today – or any day, and if you are hurting and everything else just seems awful… Just know that I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you – because you deserve to hear that, no matter who you are today and who you become tomorrow and who you strive to be – you are so loved.


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