just standing there waiting for him, i gazed around at the people shopping,
the cashiers, the colors...nothing in particular.
until i moved my head to the right.
the big bright happy sign caught my eyes.
smiling, i looked at it, focused and read it.
immediately i could feel my insides reacting.
it was reminding everyone to let their dad know how special he is
this father's day.
and right below that was the big rack of father's day cards.
'don't do it, terri. don't do it. just turn your head the
other way and don't think about it.' i told myself.
i turned my head away.
i thought of my dad, and turned my eyes back to the card rack.
the tears welled up as i thought about how i missed him. how i wish
it had all been different.
getting the tears under control, i just gazed at the card area.
no one was over there.
i took a few steps closer.
i don't know why.
i didn't walk up and read the cards.
i just stepped a little bit closer to the rack.
it was like i wanted to be part of it too but knew i couldn't be.
bob came by just then, slid his arm around my waist
and tugged me in the direction we had been heading.
looking down at me, he noticed my face and asked what
'ah, nothing' i said.
i didn't want to get all into it.
pulling me a little closer, still walking, he leaned
his head down and said 'mmmmm....tell me.'
'ah, i just saw some father's day cards.' i said, trying
to make it no big deal.
but sure enough, i couldn't say it without choking up.
a few tears rolled down my face. i wiped them and kept
walking with him.
he squeezed me a little and thankfully we kept moving.
we were on our way to meet his uncle. it wasn't time.
hours and hours and hours later, we were curled in taking
a break together. all was quiet. i was just resting there
when he said real softly 'want to go up and see your dad
for father's day?'
i smiled. didn't look over. stayed still. but smiled.
he doesn't believe my dad's up at that grave any more than i do.
which, somehow made the offer that much more special.
'he's not there,' i said.
'yeah, i know,' he answered. 'but maybe you'd like to go anyway.'
right there i could hold his love for me right smack in my hands.
it was so strong and so there.
i knew it. and i held it.
i had been thinking a lot about love.
what it was, where it was, how to grow it. all that stuff.
and there it was.
as clear as day.
i held it close.
and then i handed him mine back.
there's a reason we don't see each other much. he has a life that's
pretty demanding. trying to raise a son that needs a lot of care.
i knew he wouldn't be able to do that with me on that day. i knew that.
and i understood. and i didn't need him to.
i thanked him, snuggled closer, and told him he reminded me i needed
to make plans for myself, but that i would, and he needed to do a little
fishing with his son that day.
it was my letting him know i saw him, saw his life, and was okay with
it all, and that i was okay.
it sounds like a regular moment in any couple's life.
but it wasn't.
it's taken years of work for that moment to happen the way it did.
there were a thousand different parts to that small moment.
i knew it.
and i held it.
the thoughts of time passing, people dying, life being choices,
our lives being short and precious....all that tumbled around inside
of me at that moment. and i knew that as long as i'm here, it's love
i want to be working on.
i can't figure out anything else that matters.