Remember when I placed those pictures on your headstone? I colored them especially for you and wanted you to see them. Today I went running in the cemetery and thought of you. As I passed the graves I thought of the neighbors in your own cemetery. Are they your neighbors in heaven? I also thought of your headstone and the hands that are engraved on the surface. They are clasped together, ready for a prayer. Shadows cast over your headstone from the big, white-barked tree next to your resting place, cooling and sheltering.
I wanted to let you know that I got your letter. Sometimes I pull it out and reread it. The words are strung together wonderfully.
For a while my heart ached, and from time to time still aches. The pressure lays heavy on my chest and my heart thumps in what feels like an empty cavity. Sometimes I can’t get out of bed. I lay there and think of what could have been: daddy-daughter donut days, long drives through the country, bed time stories in a booming voice. The tears seep out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks, and dampen my pillow, my resting place.
The heartache doesn’t last too long. After a good cry I feel better. My chest gets lighter and joy fills the once empty cavity. I still like to think that you’re watching me. You are proud, I know it, when you are peaking down from heaven.