They come and go.
I catch myself smiling and don't recognize that girl.
I catch myself crying and she looks more familiar.
I look in the mirror - and I look away.
Ah, who am I kidding? I look at my cell phone. I take the pictures. I watch as the smile on my face has shifted. It just isn't there the way it used to be.
I still smile.
I still laugh.
I have a 7-year-old daughter. Laughter is required. It's a means of survival. And it's the way life goes. When she smiles, G-d, the whole room lights up.
Is that how you felt about me?
It's how I felt about you.
I miss your smile so freaking much.
I see it in my dreams sometimes. Or I want to. I see you. But you're not smiling. You're just sort of there. I can't even explain what that's like. To wake up and eventually remember that I saw you. But now you're gone.
So many people losing loved ones around me. I don't really know what to say. Except I can now say I know. I know. I know but I don't want to.
I don't want to know what it's like to say goodbye to my father.
I don't want to want your arms around me enveloping me in a huge hug and have to know it's not going to happen.
I don't want the only smile I'll ever see to be in photographs.
I want you. YOUR smile. In my face.
Your voice in my ear.
Your heart against mine.
I want your hand in mine. Playing with my fingers. Thumb-wrestling.
Holding onto my knee.
You're supposed to be waking up my daughter with her hair. Tickling her nose like you did mine. I do it. I do the things you did. I feel you - you're there - reminding me. Showing me.
I hear you in my mind.
But it's not nearly enough.
Where has your voice gone? How can I get it back?
I miss you, Daddy.
I love you. Forever and always.
I hope that you're somewhere, out there on the water, in the great vastness of blue that makes up this world we exist in. And I hope that you're riding the waves and feeling the sun.
And I hope that you're smiling.
* I'm linking up today with Shell over at Pour Your Heart Out. I'm a day behind, but she's awesome and doesn't care about stuff like that.