His postcards always came in, at least a day before its maximum. Together with the rest, what a bundle stacked higher than the bible, and filled with almost as much sorrow.
This time, it was a picture of him, holding some melted ice from the fridge of the barracks, lips smiling, with a simple scrawl at the bottom: “See, we’re both having a white christmas. –H”
Most of the time, I’m fine. When I wake up, for instance, I say hello to the hustle of the morning, as I wake Ricky up, before preparing toast and jam for breakfast. Then I’d get whisked off to work, and the day would plow on by. Everything will be a haze, all the way from driving home to having dinner with our son.
But it’s always the nights, when I prepare to snuggle into a king-sized bed, with nothing more than pillows, that it hurts. One would think the years would dull the birthdays, the christmases, the treasures; but instead of dulling, it sharpens the pain more, every year a reminder of being alone, of being with someone through nothing more than stacks of paper.
I had began by counting minutes when the truck came to pick him up. I counted hours, as I waited for his goodbye call. I waited days, while his squadron hasn’t been deployed. I’ve waited months, gnawing at my nails whenever the news played. I’ve waited years, and Ricky has grown from a waddling toddler to a young boy. He has his father’s nose.
Christmas eve and Ricky is snug into his bed, awaiting the surprises of the morning. I find myself getting drowsy, and I lay my hand on the stack of postcards bound tightly smiling atop your pillow.
This is the 100 Songs Project, a 100-day writing challenge based on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs. Every day, I write a short poem, prose piece, or play based on, reacting to, rejecting, accepting, or doing something related to one of the songs in the top 100 list.
- Mrs. Robinson (deelaytful.com)
- When You Wish Upon a Star (deelaytful.com)
- The Way We Were (deelaytful.com)