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.