Wednesday, February 5, 2014


My memory failed me on Christmas when JD asked what movie we saw the Christmas before. Normally providing more details than JD wants, and able to relive most episodic memories, I couldn't recall and still can't now six weeks later.

Many people who have read my book have asked what I used to detail my cancer journeys. For the first, my parents kept a three-ring notebook with test results, health research and correspondence. For the second, I emailed my friends Bubble and Hamburgers daily. Bubble saved my emails and printed them for me years later. I used those materials to write my book, but I had nothing else besides lightning-bright memories. I never kept a diary.

There is nothing wrong with me and my brain—after all, JD would say that he can't remember what he ate for dinner the other day. Maybe my failure is due to my aggregate memories piling up; starving my brain of energy, a necessary byproduct of staying super lean; or our 2012 Christmas movie sucking. No matter, my ability to recall autobiographical memories is one of my favorite attributes, and not being able to irked me.

My friends from my first rock-climbing trip have been sharing their favorite thoughts about one of our group members, Sunny. These thoughts are often specific, like Sunny teaching how to "creepy hug" someone. I’ve been trying to remember detailed memories of Sunny, but I can only think of her generally: hilarious, glowing, courageous-as-all-fucking-hell. Without specifics then it is the latter term that stands out, even though I bet Sunny would prefer we remember her by the first two. My memory has failed again, and this time it saddens me.

Rereading my previous blogs about Sunny here, here, here and here have helped. Her voice and smile are returning. I can see her in our van en route to the next climbing wall, providing too much information on whatever we were discussing. I see her frolicking with the enviable inhibition of a child, so full of life.

Seven years going this month, my blog has become a snapshot into my past and a way for me to re-fire synapses. Now I can always remember Sunny even though she passed away yesterday due to cervical cancer.

Kelly Pozzoli on First Descents Moab, Utah rock-climbing trip, May 2012
Kelly Pozzoli
July 22, 1980 – February 4, 2014


Anonymous said...

Very sad to hear that your friend Sunny passed away 2 days ago. I will include her name on this week's Kaddish list. JR

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ it's just not right. I'm sad, but now I'm angry. She did not deserve to go down like this, she is too vibrant. Fuck every one of those cancer cells.
-"Ibby"/Jenn Emily from Camp ROMO

Catherine said...

I'm so very, very sorry to hear about Sunny. What a wonderful picture of her you've shared.

Benjamin Rubenstein said...

Thank you Catherine. And Ibby, I'm with you, and "vibrant" is also the exact word I used earlier to describe Sunny.

Rabbi: That is extremely thoughtful of you. I shared that with our rock-climbing group and we are all appreciative.