These are things that remind me of my dad: His chair, its back cushion curved like his, its seat shaped by the length of his legs; every morning at 5:30 when I came downstairs, I’d find him in it – TV on, cat in his lap, coffee mug in hand. His truck, quiet and dusty in the dark garage; I drove it a couple of weeks ago. When I turned the key, Willie Nelson played on the CD. The yard, winter leaves still gathered in its corners like the snowdrifts that covered them not long ago.
I’ve grown accustomed to the empty chair, dark and alone in the half light of the morning – the locked garage door – the wild tangles of the yard. So this morning, as I stood in front of his closet and drew my hand across the sleeves of his shirts, I was not prepared. I was not prepared to stare into his empty shoes and feel the huge space he left behind. I miss him.