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I see him in my dreams sometimes. Usually we are walking in the woods, something we would do in northwestern Pennsylvania every fall. I never see his face, he’s always walking a little bit ahead of me. But I know it’s him; the way he walks, his flannel shirt, his signature cowboy boots, his white hair blowing in the breeze. It’s him.

And then there are the waking dreams. I see him in everything. On a day when the billowing clouds make just the right shapes I am taken back to summers on his fishing boat, drifting on the bay. Anytime a customer asks for a fig bar at work I am handing it to him– I always wanted him to try one because they would surely surpass the Fig Newtons he loved.

I see him in my mom’s features. I see him in my grandma’s tears. I see him everywhere and nowhere at the same time. And I’m angry. I am so angry. I don’t deal well with change, especially change like this. It’s too definite, too final. And it’s not fair.

Some days I don’t want to wake up from my dreaming because the dreams feel so real. Some days I imagine the real dream is that he’s gone and the reality is that he’s here and, somehow, I had them mixed up these last several months.

But I know I’ve had it right all along, as much as I try to deny it. So now all I can do is wait for sleep so he and I can go walking again.

 

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