They said it would happen and I tried to listen. I didn’t really believe it could be possible. They had gone before me, and were the voice of wisdom. The “elders,” they had been where I now stood.
The day I realized that children could, and perhaps should, dress like children, and not like a model off the pages of a magazine, was the day my daughter wanted to wear her recital gown to the grocery store.
A sense of peace struck a chord deep within me as if I were a baby being held safely against my mother's breast. The summers of my childhood came flooding back as I stood recapturing my father's image across from me, casting his fly rod with the rhythm of the river. The wildflowers, Indian paintbrush, Queen Anne’s lace, graced the steep grade of the dam, just as I had remembered. I envisioned myself sliding down the embankment to fish and play among the rocks, and catching water bugs until hunger settled in, and I made my way back down the path toward my family’s campsite. Birch trees bent overhead as though protecting me. The sweet sound of water, lapping against the rocks, lulled me. I hadn’t been back since my parents' divorce, 30 years ago. I stood there, letting the memories envelope me. The many times we rode the dry-kai, large, long pieces of old wood lying on the side of the lake (I told my children these were the original “noodles”). My brothers and I spent hours riding them. I often have pretended mine were seahorses as I bobbed up and down in the chilly Maine waters.
I was driving my husband’s truck this morning for the first time since his death, four years ago. My son, embarking shortly on getting his driver's license was excited and persistent to finally register it, and I needed to be done with the last vestiges of this arduous journey of being a widow. I had taken care of many things over the years, but hadn’t yet been able to face changing the vehicles into my name. John’s truck was his baby, and represented that he was still with me in a small way. To change it over, would be to finally say goodbye.