Picture of a girl

October 27, 2022

There was a white t-shirt with delicate red flowers that Iole wore so much that it practically disintegrated. It was one of those insignificant items of clothing that imprints itself in your memory in the most significant way. My daughter, age 7, galloping down Robert Street on a broom. My daughter, age 8, lifting her little sister on to a swing. Or eating an ice lolly. Or tying her brother’s shoe laces. Or falling off her bike and grazing her knee. In my memory, Iole is always wearing that t-shirt. Even when she wasn’t. “Do you remember that Ralph Lauren t-shirt that Nonna gave you, the one you wore eight million times?” A vague recollection washes over her mascara smudged eyes. “How can you not remember it? It was your favourite.” I searched through my phone — hundreds and hundreds of photographs –– and there it was, 2016/17, the white t-shirt with delicate red flowers. There were other t-shirts. And dresses. And rompers. But that’s the one that stands out. That’s the one that reminds me of Iole in that window of time. A window so fleeting, so challenging, so beautifully and wonderfully intense that my memory could only hold on to so much. A t-shirt. And the girl who wore it.

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