The Best Present

Daddy, you are so silly!

As she read the words, a shutter of remembrance caused a chill, then a tug at her breath.

Then tears.

Wiping her cheek on the back of her sweater, she repositioned herself.  She had been huddled on the couch for two days, wearing the same pajamas.   No work, no calls. no going out.  All she had time for – all she wanted to do – was to go through the box of belongings her father had left her.

There had been moments of deep sadness, wonderful laughter, and curious uncertainty.   It had been a week since since she got the call and three days since the funeral, yet she still wouldn’t admit that he was truly gone.

She picked the diary back up and began again.

December 18th

Today is my little girl’s birthday.  She is so cute.  I love getting up for work in the morning because I’m usually up before anybody else, but by the time I’m out of the shower and dressed and back in the kitchen…there she is.  In her fuzzy jammies, waiting for a hug.  That tangled hair and bright smile.  It makes my day.

When I saw her this morning she was so giggly and I grabbed her and said, in a monster voice, ‘Why are you so giggly?’

‘Daddy, you know why!’

Hmm, I pretended.  ‘Is it because you have frogs in your breeches?” 

She laughed and laughed and I tickled her.

‘Daddy, you are so silly!’

She stopped and, though she was laughing, the tears fell even harder than before.  It was coming back.  Not the exact images, but flashes, glimpses.  Little presents to help her remember.

The phone rang and she wiped her eyes again.  She knew it was her mom checking in on her.  She closed the diary and held it close.  “Thank you,” she whispered, before placing it next to the other memories that her father had taken the time to create for her.

This story is dedicated to my little Jordan (who is not quite so little anymore) on her 6th birthday.  She always likes to tell me just how “silly” I am.  I love you fluffy girl!



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