sometimes when i least expect it i catch a glimmer of you.
at a random moment when my mind is on something else it happens. for a second i am transported.
i am looking walking running flying out the front door, bare feet slapping on hot pavement. i jump into your arms, spilling over with excited anticipation. “daddy’s home!” i shout and you smile, taking my hand as we walk back inside.
we are working in the yard. i want to help you build a new flower bed and you grin at my childish eagerness. “ok,” you say. “you can help me.” i bask in the warm sunlight of your love as i get to work.
it is fall and michigan is playing notre dame. you are watching the screen and i am watching your face. we are caught up in the emotion of the game. i shout when you shout, i cheer when you cheer. we leap up, yelling “M GO BLUE!”
i ask you what you did in the navy. you tell me stories and teach me lessons. show me pictures. things you brought back. to me you are a hero. every story makes you braver in my little girl eyes.
it is christmas eve and it’s time for bed. we are nestled close on the couch, a family of four. you are reading “the night before christmas” and everything feels right to me. the fire is crackling, the lights on the tree are twinkling. i close my eyes and listen to the story, feeling totally full and tingly with anticipation at the same time.
we are riding in the car with the windows rolled down. bob seger, bruce springsteen, the mommas and the poppas, chuck berry blast out of the speakers. you know all the words so i watch you sing and i try to keep up, faking it when i miss a lyric or two.
you are telling terrible jokes and i can’t stop laughing. “you can pick your nose, and you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.” nothing could be funnier. no joke was ever better. i laugh so hard that tears stream down my face.
we are sitting side by side, me with my sax and you with your trumpet. “what’s next?” you ask. “i left my heart in san francisco?” we play slowly as i struggle to pick out the notes. i sense your patience and i wish i was better. i promise myself i’ll start to practice more.
it is my fifth grade graduation and i feel like i’m standing on top of the world. after dinner you slide a small box across the table, wrapped with a pretty white bow. i open it, breathless. a necklace. the most beautiful necklace i’ve ever seen. i think to myself that i am the luckiest. the luckiest daughter. the luckiest girl. nobody was ever loved more than i am in this moment.
sometimes when i least expect it i catch a glimmer of you. for a second i am transported.
but a glimmer never lasts. by nature it is temporary.
like sunlight on the water or smoke in the wind it is fleeting.
i reach out i try to catch it, save it, keep it.
but it slips away as soon as it is held.
like a single shooting star it shimmers
and is gone.