The words, they don't come.
The pictures, I look at them often. Each one more precious than the next.
My heart, it hurts.
My head spins.
My breathing slows.
I need to push through. The rapid heartbeats, the deep breaths. Puffy and swollen eyes.
Each one of my tops stained with salty tears.
Lights flicker. Bulbs pop. A ball rolls into the kitchen.
Solitaire starts itself on my mom's computer.
The stash of cookies dwindles.
Cakes get thrown away.
Stale sprinkles fill my mouth, jelly filling, blueberry pie.
I look to find fullness. My heart has a hole in it that needs to be gone.
Chocolate cake and dried fruit and mints and grilled cheese sandwiches.
The matzo ball soup, the noodle kugel. Things for a Shiva call I can't bring myself to eat.
A Brooklyn bagel, what I longed for each trip home. What they brought me every trip south.
Dozens upon dozens and I couldn't have a single one.
They just aren't quite the same without my daddy smiling from across the kitchen table.
I don't know where to begin but I just need to pour out some words. These might not be the right ones, but they are mine. All mine.
And so, I share them. And then, I cry.
But it's okay. Because he loved me. And I love him.
A whole bunch, forever and always.
Love you, Daddy.
Thank you for always making me smile, laugh, and ensuring that I never felt a lack of love for even a moment.
* I wrote this a few days ago and have been trying to insert a picture since then. My iPad is not cooperating, but much of the technology surrounding my mom and I this week has not been, so I hold off, and promise that pictures will follow soon. Perhaps my iPad knows I am not truly ready? We shall see ...