Saying Goodbye

by - September 22, 2010

Just yesterday I was staring at her chubby cheeks and thinking I could finally see him there.  Her daddy. That glint in her eye and that little turn of her lip.  There he was, making his claim to her by imprinting himself on her features.  And now he'll be there forever.  As she grows up.  When she looks in the mirror.  When her mother watches her sleeping.  He'll be there.  And she'll never know him.  And it breaks my heart.

How can the worth of a life be measured in words?  How can it be reduced to something so trivial?    How can a radio news announcer talk so coldly about the cherry picker hanging askew and the hard hat left lying on the ground?

It hasn't even been a day.  Twenty-four hours ago he was alive.  He was a husband.  He was a father.  He was my friend.

And what do we have left?  A widow.  A baby.  A God who doesn't answer why whether we scream it, cry it or whisper.

We used to laugh.  He'd pop into my office - just to say hi - just because he was working on a line down the street - wearing that horrible florescent orange jump suit, sit in the broken chair and try to rock it (because he always forgot it was broken) so it would slam back into the wall.  We told jokes.  We laughed.  We gossiped.  We laughed.  We sang some Big & Rich.  We laughed.

I can remember how he would hold Liam when he was a little baby.  How Liam would reach out for him.  How they danced around the Demerton Hall to bad music.

I remember how proud he was when he had his daughter.  Of the time I spent a whole Sunday morning skipping the sermon and cuddling her in the foyer of the church.  How he was beaming.  How he cooed and baby-faced her.  How he was happier than I've ever seen him.

I don't know how to help.  I don't know how to be anything but broken.

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