Photograph

Your picture in a frame,

in a box.

I wasn't strong enough to take it out,

until today.

Dusting off the photo of my dear Grandpa

told me it was time.

I cleared a new space,

where your smiling face would look back at me.

Dusted off the glass of the frame.

Made sure not one speck of dust was on you,

and placed you right where I could see you every day.

You look so happy.

That dashing smile.

Those gorgeous dimples.

My reflection appears in the black of your shirt,

we have the same shape in our eyes.

Our foreheads are identical.

The sweetness in your smile reminds me of mine,

how timid we are yet genuine when we are amongst those we love.

So many thoughts race through my mind,

trying to outrun the grief in my heart.

Somehow the grief prevails.

I swallow the lump.

My youngest is nearby,

I don't want to upset him.

The lighted turtle in the amber shell,

the one I bought him for his birthday 9 years ago.

Now it sits next to his photograph.

I turn it on and it's shell glows warmly.

I think about how he fussed when candles were lit,

he was afraid something would catch fire.

Same fear I have.

He bought his wife a flickering candle for Valentine's day,

no flame, just a light that danced in place.

Just like a candle,

just like his turtle.

I read somewhere that when you lose someone you love,

you light a candle in their memory.

Some believe that lit candle will guide their spirit to you,

just for a moment.

Bringing a little peace,

to an aching heart.

Regardless of our fears I look for a candle,

and find one my oldest son bought for me.

He was visiting my dad last summer.

Dad taught my son the joy of giving,

and helped him pick out presents to buy.

One for each of his family members with his own allowance.

This pretty candle holder in a rainbow glass,

with a topper decorated in sparkly flowers,

and a dragonfly that dances on a bouncy spring.

Light this one in his memory.

I pause to stare at the setting before me,

my dad, the turtle and the dragonfly candle.

My grief crosses the finish line,

the lump too big to swallow.

My Grandpa on one side of the room,

my Daddy on the other.

I can't take this anymore,

I don't understand why.

How many more photos will I have on display?

How will my heart handle any more loss?

The thought is so overpowering,

that empty feeling.

Black and gaping as ever.

His warm smile.

His soft eyes.

Those adorable dimples.

I wasn't blessed with those dimples.

I'll never see them again.

Life is going on all around me.

I can't merge in with it right now.

I'm stuck on the shoulder,

waiting to gather the courage to move again.

Is it courage I need?

I don't know.

I need something.

Strength?

Willpower?

Faith?

Medication?

Ok maybe not medication,

but it would be so easy.

At least I think so.

I won't because I know that is when I need courage,

to not take the easy way out.

To feel the grief charging through me.

Because it's real.

Painful, but real.

Like my love for my Daddy.

So I write.

That helps.

For now.

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