Thirteen years. How can it be thirteen years?
The evidence is everywhere.
I have a thirteen year old boy. A week into his teens pimples sprout from the end of his nose. Evidence. He smiles a tiny smile when he speaks of Taylor Swift. He talks of "you know, IT" when he means sex.
Dad is gone. Thirteen years today, though I can still feel tears pushing hard against the back of my eyeballs. Not all the time, of course. But I miss him.
My daughter says it's easier not knowing him. She says she misses him so much that if he'd actually shared space on the earth with her, it would be almost unbearable. She is still grossed out by kissing. She's still carrying her stuffed rabbit with her to bed. She is also taking selfies of her pouty face and flipping her mane of curly hair like a wild horse. She is walking along the sidewalk with long legs in cowboy boots and watching her reflection in store windows. Evidence.
We live with ghosts. Evidence. What came before and what made us into who and what we are.
Always possible to change. Always possible to grow.
I've been trying to clean out the garage, empty my closets, purge my drawers. But I get caught up in remembering. It's hard to let go of everything.
I am looking out the window today, looking out into the yard, but looking farther than the back line of trees. I'm looking out the window and seeing the last thirteen years. I became a wife and a mother and a writer. I am seeing my future and my past twist together and it is a marvelous thing. All happy, all sad, all everything at once.
I am missing Dad. I am loving my children. I am grateful for my family. I am in love with my husband. It's chilly in my house and my hands are cold, but the sun is high and bright in the sky and just along the driveway, a line of red roses bloom.