by Kristina Monty
Once more the season ends. Trees changing color, leaves falling at a steady rate bringing me closer to that date I remember most days clearer than your birthday. Six days later to open the last Christmas card you would ever give to me, simply signed Love Grandma, the ‘& Grandpa’ having fallen off like the leaves now piling up.
Three years later, and the pain is still fresh in my mind. I sit here staring at the cheeky Michigan helmet smiling at me while I hold the football beads like a rosary. Twisting them until they resemble my mind; a jumble of pain, love and anger. I leave a stone on top so that others might see and stop to wonder who this woman is that gets a visitor every morning even after so much time passes. No words are needed here; I pull the weeds and arrange the flowers left by other. I unwind the beads smiling at the tiny flecks of silver that have clung to my skin once again to stay until the next morning. Arranging them in a different position than I found them in so that yet another group of visitors will know I have been here. I stay, bowing my head to the cool smooth stone enjoying the only moment of serenity I will get that day and wish that whenever you’re not watching us, you’re reliving that Christmases you just couldn’t spend without him. Years and years of Christmases piled up, not one spent without one another ,not even in death.
I wake up each day and know that not one day will ever go by that I don’t wish that I could see you one more time, hear your gravelly voice ask about my day. But I know, someday, after I have lived my own epic tale, when I am grey and shorter that I will see you both. Because you showed me the way to what I didn’t know I was missing. You showed me the way to Him. I talk to God still expecting laughter at my plans. Someday soon I’ll be as brave as you and fully accept but until then I’ll come here and sit, eyes closed, clinging to the beads and silently pour out the pain that no one else knows is there, years after everyone else has moved on.