From Your Anastasia

From Your Anastasia

For my grampy, and for anyone who has ever lost the fixture that held their light like a candle in the darkness.

The average human heart beats about 115,200 times per day.

You can't answer me, but did you know that?

But then you weren't just average. Maybe that's what happened.

Maybe your heart got too tired of beating not only for you, but also for everyone else you kept alive simply by being who you were.

It's almost been seven years now, and instead of serenading my sadness with a cliche about how it still feels like it was yesterday

I'll instead sit on my knees like I hadn't done in years

Until appealing to a higher power was all I could do; asking someone to take care of me while I learned that I was strong enough to do it myself

And whisper that every time I see a cardinal outside, I take it to be you coming to visit me to remind me that you've never really left my side

It's a bright splash of red against the ubiquitous grey that comes with the monotony of regret. A little flare of hope in my chest.

My math skills are poor, but you haven't seen me for roughly a third of my life.

I got contacts, but I didn't grow any taller.

Technically I'm old enough to buy my own lottery tickets now, but it's not really the same as the happiness on your face when you handed them out to your eagerly clamoring grandchildren.

I still remember when you told me I looked so grown up in this fuzzy purple sweater I wore even though it itched, and you called me Emily Anastasia

I go by Emma now, and when people see my face and hear me talk, they guess I'm older than I really am

It's probably because I've looked death in the eyes and told him I wouldn't dance with him; not today.

I prefer to imagine that instead of being swept up by a dark cloak and bony fingers

An angel came to greet you, took you gently by the hand, and brought you up to where you always belonged.

Because even when I was too young to really contemplate the idea of waking up with the stars glittering inches from your peaceable face

Rather than shining up in the sky a seeming amount of miles away that could only be quantified with a made up number

I sensed that you were not made or meant for this earth.

Seven years ago you left it, but the memory of that day is etched into my heart like the lines of a record.

Except unlike a record, there is no music. No sound. Just a phone. This is how it went.

I hold the phone loosely in my hands. It's cold.

I'd like to tell you this, or anything, really, but I can't.

Because I'm simultaneously too early and too late; too early to realize the gravity of losing you and too late to say that one last goodbye.

The phone yells silently at me, but I can't hear it.

I'm deadened to the nonexistent noise by a cacophony of should've would've could'ves, of questions without answers, and ends without beginnings.

I would take all this numbness and multiply it a thousand times over

I would take all this pain and experience it a million times again

I would take this ridiculous juxtaposition of feeling nothing and feeling everything forever if it just meant you weren't gone.

Because now there will be no more paintbrushes dipped in bright robin's egg blue to pick up, no wedding rings lost amidst years and years of boxes and memories to find, and no hearing your voice say my name. Which is still Emily Anastasia, no matter what I say.

There will be no learning how to write letters on your archaic black typewriter, no sipping chocolate milk and watching it wend its way up the twisty turns of a silly straw, and no laughing as we pretend to shake like the quivering mass of cranberry sauce you loved to make every Thanksgiving. Which is definitely a disgusting invention, but we did it anyways.

There will be no helping you cook seemingly endless amounts of bacon for my cousins and I after we'd spent the night, no replying that of course I trusted you as you drive me to the last family brunch you got to spend with us, and no holding your warm, weathered hand in mine as you sleep peacefully in the armchair next to me. Which made me so aware of how little my hands were, and how many stories there were in the creases of your skin.

None of that anymore.

Now there is just a purple sweater that doesn't fit, photographs of you from when you were younger and life hadn't painted your hair white yet, and the tattoo I got for you.

Now there is just the emptiness of the phone, the stillness of your heart, and sometimes, if I'm very lucky, the faint echo of the last time I made you laugh.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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The 10 Stages Of A 2:30 P.M. Kickoff, As Told By Alabama Students

But we still say Roll MF Tide!


We all have a love-hate relationship with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Bryant Denny Stadium, especially when it's 94 degrees.

1. Immediate sadness

What do you mean I have to wake up at 9 a.m. to get ready?

2. Bracing yourself for the worst

It's a marathon not a sprint ladies and gentleman.

3. Accepting the game is going to happen

Rain or shine we are all in that student section screaming our heads off.

4. Trying to wear the least amount clothes possible without being naked on the Quad

Is it me or does it get 10 times more hot the minute you walk on to the quad?

5. Shedding a tear when you walk out your front door once you feel the heat and humidity on your skin

Is it fall yet?

6. Drowning your sorrows inside a Red Solo cup at 11:30 a.m. at a fraternity tailgate

Maybe I'll forget about the humidity if I start frat hopping now.

7. Getting in line to go through security realizing it'll take an hour to actually get inside Bryant Denny

More security is great and all but remember the heat index in Alabama? Yeah, it's not easy being smushed like sardines before even getting into Bryant Denny.

8. Feeling the sweat roll down every part of your body

Oh yeah I am working on my tan and all but what is the point of showering before kick off?

9. Attempting to cheer on the Tide, but being whacked in the head with a shaker by the girl behind you.

Shakers are tradition, but do we have to spin it around in a full 360 every two seconds? I have a migraine from just thinking about it.

10. Leaving a quarter into the game because Alabama is kicking ass and you're about to have a heat stroke.

I'll watch the rest in air conditioning thank you very much!

We may not love the 2:30 kickoffs but Roll Tide!

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I Made Emma Chamberlain's Mediocre Vegan Cookies, And They're Pretty Incredible

Emma and her vegan cookies have made their way into my heart, and are here to stay.


One day, I went down the black hole that is 'YouTube at 3 am' and discovered my favorite social media influencer of all time: Emma Chamberlain. I started binge watching her videos every night for about a week, where I came across her "Cooking With Emma" series. I decided that I wanted to give her vegan antics a go for myself.

I've never cooked or baked anything with the intention of it being vegan, so not only is that new territory for me, but I've never even eaten a vegan cookie. The only reason I'm doing this is because Emma did, and she is aesthetic goals.

To start the journey of vegan baking, I took to Pinterest, just like Emma, and found this recipe to use. Although the video that inspired all of this used a gluten free recipe, I opted for only vegan, because I'm allergic to most of the ingredients that make things gluten-free.

In true Emma style, I used a whisk to combine the wet ingredients together, making sure to use her special technique.

Then, I did the same thing with the dry ingredients.

After that, I dumped everything together and combined all of the ingredients.

Once they were combined, I chopped up a vegan chocolate bar, because Emma and I like chocolate chunk cookies, not chocolate chip, there's a difference.

Now that everything is combined, I made balls of dough and stuck it on a pan, and baked them while I binged more Emma, because what else would I be doing in my spare time?

The recipe said to make the balls a lot smaller, but we aren't perfect, so I made them gigantic. In my head, I thought the worst thing that could happen was it turn into one big cookie, but that's a whole other video you need to watch.

I took them out of the oven, and they were brown on the top, but still a little doughy. At this point I was tired of waiting and eager to eat them, so I disappointingly set them aside to cool, which only lasted a minute or so before I snagged one up to try.

The taste was definitely one I've never associated with cookies, and came to the conclusion that if I decided to go vegan, it would be doable with these cookies and Emma Chamberlain by my side.

Emma inspired me to get out of my comfort zone, which is a reoccurring theme throughout her channel, and I'm happy to be apart of it. She taught me that even if mediocre cookies is all you have, eat them with pride because you made them yourself.

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