“But I don’t know how.”
“Yeah you do.”
“It’s right here.”
I still see him . . .
“Not there, don’t look at him, look at me.”
“I don’t see anything.”
“Yes you do. . . look around you.”
We sit face to face, her hands tightly gripping mine, squeezing them between her knees. Her eyes are honest and free of judgment. For the first time since I can remember, my mind is silent. I swallow hard and close my eyes because I’m afraid of what I might see.
“Look at me.” she says softly.
My eyes open . . .
I see softly lit streets . . . the snow beneath me . . . the river in the distance . . . it’s so cold . . . I see a small tree, decorated . . . someone’s Christmas . . . left behind . . . I see my wife on our wedding day, so beautiful . . . so innocent . . . I see a young boy, walking down a sidewalk, his backpack weighed down with everything he’ll need for his first day . . . I think that’s my son. . . and he’s ok. Then the same boy . . . years older . . . a few yards ahead of me . . . calling to me to hurry up . . . “Come on old man, the trail’s just up ahead” . . . And I hear laughter . . . and I see our children, grandchildren in your eyes. I see all the hope and all the possibilities and I see tomorrow and I have the birth of faith in all you offer me. And then I see a little girl . . . the biggest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. They hold so much . . . It’s hard to believe I even deserve to look in to them . . . but they are my eyes . . . little girl, you carry my name . . . and that cannot be a mistake. There’s one heart and others, to carry on. There’s simplicity and there’s confusion. There’s mistakes and there’s intention . . . there is understanding and there is acceptance. I understand and I accept what you have given me. It hurts and I can truly say I don’t want it, or need it, but it is mine. It is your gift . . . my burden. I will move from this day, toward the place you have chosen for me.
I stand and wipe the tears from my face.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m supposed to.”
“Are you sure?”
“Then what? What are you doing?”
“I’m just walking.“
“I don’t know.”
“I’m coming with you.”
“It’s not gonna be easy.”
“I don’t care. Nothing worth a shit is ever easy.”
“I like you.”
She cocks her head slightly and smiles . . .
“I like you too.”
“Just thank you’.”
“That it’s ok. Everything is gonna be alright.”
“Will you slow down? Hold on.”
I turn around, looking back for the last time . . .
“I’m coming. Just let me catch up.”