Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Missing Dad

The other day when I pulled open the top bureau drawer in my son' s room to put some clothes away, that certain fragrance hit me.  It was unmistakable.  My dad's cologne.  It lingers in that drawer like a ghostly memory or a shadow that clings to the body everywhere it goes.  My dad is gone but his bureau, now used by my son, stands against the wall, a constant reminder of the man I admired, trusted and loved.  And when I open that drawer, that scent is there--the cologne he always wore.  And immediately he comes to mind along with a flood of memories.

Invariably it hits me the same way. A tear begins to travel down my cheek, I see him in my mind, I hear his voice.  I look up at the ceiling as if I can see right through it to heaven above,wondering if he's looking down or if he can see me or if he's maybe right there in the room with me, an invisible guide shadowing me through my days, keeping me safe from harm.  I stand there lost in memories, missing him and hoping he knows how much I loved him, hoping he knew even when I didn't always say it or show it.

When I finally closed the drawer I knew I had closed a chapter and that even though memories may linger like spilled cologne, life must go on, always commands us forward.  I have chapters that are incomplete, awaiting the words to fill them.  If I can make him proud of me, if I can do something worthwhile, then maybe one day when I go to open up that drawer again...

I'll smile instead of cry.