A long moment. One that began many winters ago. It stretched for miles and miles through my memory house, tearing down raging roads of pain and wandering that seemed to go on forever and ever......just waiting for a day like this. This time. This pew. This moment.
Through the crowd of crying people and sprinkling rain, he didn't see me come in.
Back row. Dark glasses. I needed to look.
He wore a tailored black suit. Dark hair neatly cut. Just a speck of a white collared shirt over leftover summer tanned skin and maybe, just maybe, I could see a little Cherokee.
I couldn't take my eyes off of him.
I knew the curve of the jaw, the bump on his head
The way his face held tenderness...and placed crooked kisses on soft new skin..... and tears that once fell slowly on my hands holding his in a moment of deadly decision said my memory said my memory said my memory - once upon a time of waywardness and rain.
Oh, those scenes are locked in my mind. Who could have known that they would lead me to this place today. Who knew that they would comfort me in a sanctuary full of sorrow.... for someone's daddy, someone's grandpa, someone's brother, husband, friend. Sealed off in this abbey of wailing stones, far far away from the world I once shared with him - we sat silently holding onto daughters and cursing broken promises at a life struck down with no warning.
And all I could do was cry for joy.
How dare I.
My confession you see.
I'd come to watch.
In a church full of handkerchiefs, leftover Chrismon trees and a freshly lined coffin, as if on a cue he knew well and heard often, this dark-haired man