The silver SUV pulled out of the driveway
as my son and his young family headed
to the airport
after the holidays.
I don’t suppose they saw me
wave them out of sight.
I don’t suppose they knew my throat was thick,
my shoulders heavy,
my eyes blinking fast to block the tears.
I hadn’t meant to cry,
but my mind pulled up a years-ago memory
of a hot blue-sky Texas morning
when it was my young family
pulling away from Mom and Dad’s house,
and I looked back to see my dad
standing on the front porch
waving us out of sight.
At that moment, I instinctively knew
why he watched,
why he waved,
why he waited
until he could no longer see us—
maybe longer, who knows?
He was holding the thread of connection
as long as he could,
Knowing it might be the last time he saw us.
He could not know,
nor could I,
that my sisters and I would be with him
for the last goodbye,
and that in my memory,
he is still on that front porch,
waving as the distance grows between us,
just as I wave to my children and grandchildren,
holding the thread of connection
as long as I can,
for they always leave
with a good part
of my heart.
Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.
Nature of the week:
Shadow of the week:
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Text and photos © 2024 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.