It was the eleventh, and the eleventh had always tended to suck since my son passed away. I had planned to be busy, because busy hands make a light heart as Grandma used to say, only, at this moment, ‘busy’ was floating aimlessly on the green-blue mineral lake with the sun sparkling off gentle ripples. Stately pines and cedars rose all around to touch a perfect blue sky, and I couldn’t have envisioned a more beautiful day if I had tried.
But then you floated over on your inner tube, the sun making your hair shine just so, and your smile reached your eyes. I really noticed, this time, really noticed, and I was taken aback by the loveliness of carefree joy on your too-often-stressed face.
You should smile more often. We all should.
Your hand found mine, and I smiled, too, because you didn’t let go, and I didn’t want you to. My heart floated, buoyant with joy for the simple pleasure of touch that says, I’m here, and I want to be here with you. Things began to unravel inside me, all the wrappings that I’d used to keep my heart from truly feeling fell away. The lingering touch of past sadness drifted to other skies like a rare cloud, and this eleventh begin to color all those to come with a sun-kissed happiness that had been too long absent.
I squeezed your hand.
You smiled even bigger, radiantly beautiful, and squeezed back.