I was stopped dead in my tracks yesterday when I walked past this coffee shop. That fellow up there in the red jumper with the distinctive hairline could be my dad. For the briefest moment I really thought it was him. Even looking at the photo now it is hard to believe it isn't. There was a micro milli mini teeny tiny second when the set of those shoulders caught my eye and my mind squealed 'dad!'. The following micro milli mini teeny tiny second when the universe settled once again into it's proper configuration found me bereft.
He died in 2004 so this bolt of grief was unexpected. I was thankful that I had Sweetie and the littlest duckling with me so that I could lean into the stroller to fuss over the baby and hide my tears. I was there for a while and couldn't stop myself from sneaking this photo. Perhaps I enjoyed imagining briefly that he was still here and that I could walk over to sit with him and see his delightful smile one more time.
I felt the warm breeze on my face, I stroked the littlest duckling's cheek, I listened to Sweetie's chattering and I spent a few moments missing him. The hurting hurts but it is right to miss him. Life is beautiful - the hurt is just as important as the bliss. I was lucky to feel this grief when I was not alone but had the sunshine and my two littles with me.
It was strangely comforting to watch this man who could be my dad finishing his cup of coffee. Mum and dad were very good at enjoying the little things and sitting in the sunshine on a warm autumn afternoon having a cup of coffee is exactly the kind of thing dad enjoyed and encouraged. He was a wonderful man and we miss him.