You are often there, on the edges of my dreams.
Quiet, not speaking.
Present, but untouchable.
I reach out for you, but then you are gone.
The dreams are not like you were in life.
Always active - working, fishing, gardening, hunting.
Crow's feet appearing around twinkling brown eyes as you grinned telling a story.
Now you are just silent. There, but only watching.
The others in my dreams do not see you. But I do.
Then the sun rises and the dreams dissipate like a morning mist.
Yet then, on the edges of my life, you are there silently again.
No one sees you in my days. But I do.
In the flashing brown eyes and big laugh of my daughter.
The way my son, who never even saw you, moves his hands when he tells a story.
How I use a tool, then clean it as you told me to do.
When I open that wooden box and see your initials on the handle of your knife.
In the way a closed-mouth smile is just your smirk in our family.
I cannot plant vegetables in the garden without thinking of you. Smiling at how you made me spend all summer picking green beans and selling them to pay for my lost glasses.
Your instructions always run through my head as I lift the ax and bring it down on the log.
When I tie my tie for the day, the touch of your hands on my neck helping me with mine on my wedding day comes to mind.
When leading, trying to remember the kind way you did.
These and a thousand other reminiscences float in and out of my days.
Like the vapor we are, you are here then gone. Yet not without notice.
I now see your crow's feet in the mirror around the brown eyes you gave me.
My children laugh at me for the same things I laughed at you.
The ache of heart wishing your voice was not silenced.
The sadness of soul in remembering how forty-six years was too short, and how Mom could not cope without you.
These wispy memories swirl about my days.
They tell me, as I strain to remember, that you were here.
No one sees them.
But I do.