The Thread Connecting Us


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.

It wasn’t—

not then.

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.


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Text and photos © 2024 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.