Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Daughter


When she chats me up from the backseat on our errand drives, it's like a bird's twitter as her laughter mixes with her words. She speaks in this laughing song. Her smile is big. And every thought pours out in delight.

She plays "Ronald and Donald" on the floor. Little farm animals spilled out like rainbow sprinkles.

She collects rocks, still. And laughs at her foot getting swallowed by a mud hole. She digs in clay. She considers the reservoir water with longing.

She holds my hand almost anywhere when we walk. She accompanies me to the nursing home to visit my sister. She's with me at the store. She spends time with me in the garden. When my feet are in the water and I feel summer's spell, she calls out, "Mom! Look!"



Her hair has copper highlights that catch the sun. Her eyes are blue like mine, and when I gaze into them, I imagine dandelion fuzz.

those eyes that day, before we knew
She would love it if her closet were full of beautiful dresses, and she would wear them all. 

***

She plays the piano and fills the house with beautiful music every day.

She likes company at the table, and always hopes I'll make a cup of coffee for her. Sometimes, I do. Sometimes. And likely more often now.

She still reaches for my hand on the neighborhood walks. We have real talks, truthful talks, hard talks. I like this about her. It refreshes me.

She is focused, determined, disciplined.

She loves music, but not shopping. But if I ask her if she wants to go to the grocery store with us, she often says yes to that.



She shares my love of reading. She waits for me to watch a movie with her--on purpose, because she wants me there. And suddenly I'm reminded of her at the end of second grade, that summer we would move, having an end-of-school-year slumber party in my room--nails painted, and a Dick Van Dyke movie playing until she fell off to sleep. She tried so hard to stay awake. It was "Mary Poppins."

Sometimes when she's next to me in the car, I reach out to hold her hand, never entirely sure she wants to hold it, but especially grateful, especially now, that she does. She has never refused it. I hold hers close and store its warmth in my heart, that it would last me a lifetime.

coming back from cherry picking at a neighbor's that day

***

Now. Especially now.

In loving memory, Jenna.

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