Bittersweet

I always get a little wistful as the days grow shorter, the nights grow cooler, and baseball season winds to a close … but this particular autumn feels unusually bittersweet.

I walked outside last night to watch the stars glitter against the blue-velvet dusk, and it suddenly struck me that this time a year ago, Dad — frail and fading, but still possessed of a poet’s heart — was with me, probably trembling against my shoulder on the old metal glider on his deck, looking up at stars I am pretty sure he could no longer see, holding my hand, singing a song he’d just made up about the steady, irresistible imposition of evening.

I sniffed the darkness once, dropped my coffee, and ran all the way to Grant’s house to collapse in his arms, sobbing hysterically until I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, couldn’t do anything but cling to him and cry, remembering and longing and forgetting to be grateful for all I have instead of mourning all I’ve lost.

God, I wish Mom and Daddy could have met him.

I wish Mom and Daddy could meet me. I’m not the girl they knew. Sometimes I wonder whether they’d even recognize me.

— Sierra

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One comment

  1. A Friend · September 30, 2010

    Sierra, the here-and-now are always tangled up in the dead-and-gone, whether you are a daughter or a mom. My guess is that, from time to time, your Mom and Dad wished that they could have a fresh start meeting you. People change. They have to or they wouldn’t survive. We struggle, we muddle, we mess up and wish fervently for do-overs, but there aren’t any so we just go on and try to put the mistakes in a box and tape it shut and put it in the back of the closet so we don’t trip over them every day. Every tiny decision we make changes us irrevocably, but the trick is to make sure the good memories are sitting where we *will* trip over them and be reminded daily. God is blessing you right now. All you have to do is notice it.

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