The woman cutting my hair admired my ring three days ago. I told her I got it from you. I didn’t say it was from your finger, a moment after you took your last breath. When I first put it on it felt foreign: a large jade stone. The one you impulsively traveled downtown to Zell Brothers and bought for your remarriage. With Mom. Now I don’t take it off. It reminds me of you.
Two days ago I met a man who knew you. Truthfully, he didn’t just know you, he adored you: describing you as a mentor, a teacher from so many years ago. He knew the month and year that you died, that July of 2014. Later that day he sent me an email about how much you meant to him, and how serendipitous it was to be at the same work-related event with me so we could meet.
Yesterday I went to the memorial service for your high school buddy, Hawk. He was just shy of Birthday Number 89. He was kind and funny, kind of like you, but different. Your high school locker-mate John shared some memories. Just like he had for you. He seemed more choked up than at your service, not because he loved one of you more than the other but maybe because he is of only a few still with us.
Some days it seems you’ve been gone so long, and others as if it was just yesterday. Yet, you come back. Again and again. Our dads and moms and brothers and sisters and children and lovers and aunts and uncles and grandparents and friends. Or, perhaps, it is that you never truly left.