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  • Please listen to Stairway to Heaven as you read this.

    He was the new boy. He was beautiful. He was mine.

    Brian's parents, seeking a safer place to raise their third and youngest child for high school, moved their family to Lake Geneva from the city, Chicago. The small town seemed perfect. My crazy brother introduced us. We three had wonderfully wild teen times together that first summer.

    We three became we two as school resumed. Every single day we spent as much time together as our parents would permit. At Badger High we suffered the heartbreak of trips apart, the sexy slow dancing at prom to Stairway to Heaven, and the lusty glance askance by the lockers as we began to drift apart. The fragrance of the lily corsage he pressed into my long, slinky black dress and the clumsy way I pinned the white rose to his tux vividly crush my senses still. Our parents were so happy for our young love.

    After three years, it was clear that he was more in love with skiing than me. Wind chilling 70 degrees below zero and in a snowplow for two weeks, he was committed to teaching me how to ski. To this day my life-long love remains skiing the back bowls of Vail, that place he reported to me as a 15-year-old he was going to be away for a forever-week to ski the Rocky Mountains. I had never seen a mountain and could not imagine what they looked like when he showed me the map of the thousand mile journey he would drive with his family.

    My mom broke the tragic news, “There’s been an accident.”

    Quivering I begged a reply, already fearing the grave look in her eye and the cracking in her voice, “What kind of accident? Is everyone OK?”

    Doubled over, shrieking, from my core aching, writhing in utter terror and I demanded screaming over and over, "No, No, No!" No heartbreak was this. This, this was a shattering. Nerve fibers felt the raw firing of all things all at once. Uncontrollable agony, I wept. My first, only, and tender love was gone. Gone to heaven.

    Now I sit by the brook near old trees and dangle my feet and I wonder.

    "There's a feeling I get when I look to the West and my spirit is crying for the voice" of Brian who moved my heart forward to full force love. The forest is echoing now with the memories of our laughter. I wonder if my stairway lies on the whispering wind.

    "The Piper's calling you to join him." I imagine Brian boyishly coaxing me, "Dear Lady, can you hear the wind blow and did you know, your stairway lies on the whispering wind?" Suicide thoughts blackened my grieving days.

    It makes me wonder... what our love would be like today, had his body not been found broken and lifeless in a field in that car accident?

    To find a photo to post, I google and find a dozen of his name in car accident deaths. There are 876 of him on Facebook; none of them are my love. Led Zeppelin crashed. It makes me wonder.

    I'd like to buy a Stairway to Heaven still.

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