Thursday, February 23, 2012

surprised smiles

I saw my Dad everywhere today. Brushing aside his thin white hair. Zipping up his light-weight, powder blue spring jacket. Driving in the slow lane with his seat pulled up close to the steering wheel. Grabbing a shopping cart at DeMoulas.

Each time I saw him my breath hiccupped in my throat and I thought “I want to cry” but I didn’t cry. I smiled. I smiled remembering my Dad and all the love between us. I smiled thinking someone else still had their Dad in the world.

A little more than a month after he died, I went on a short vacation with my family to Florida. On the shuttle returning to the hotel after an exhausting evening in the crowds at Downtown Disney, an older couple boarded. And I spent the remainder of the ride trying to hide my tears. I have been crying ever since.

At home, tears accompanied a chance encounter with a picture or a card. At my Mom’s house – because that’s what we call it now  - I cried putting a bagel in the toaster, getting Christmas decorations from the cellar, planting marigolds in the flower box, pulling the grill out of the shed. I would cry at the sight of any old man’s hands, at the passing of an ambulance, at the sight of navy blue dickies.

When did my tears turn into these surprised smiles?

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