The wave from the driveway

Do you miss your parents? My parents always come to the car when I am leaving their house. My dad tries to give me a twenty dollar bill. Sometimes I take it. When I am actually broke, I don’t take it because of my stubbornness. My mom hugs us so well. She gives healing hugs like they talk about in spiritual awakenings. They both kiss and hug each of us – even the child who has claimed shot gun and is barricading themselves in the front passenger seat so no sibling can undermine their power.

Hot black pavement emitting squiggly lines. I wonder if I am the only one who can see the summer heat. The humidity envelopes. Mom and Dad smile and blow a kiss and call out about seeing us soon, as I reverse.

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Bittersweet. Eren Orby’s wrote in The New Yorker about Deanna Dikeman’s portrait series.

What could be sweeter? The grandparents walking out to their driveway and waving good bye. Please click the link in the caption so you can enjoy the beauty. Dikeman’s photos are everything a family is. The red ranch house. The socks with sandals. The draping skin of a waving arm that has long carried all of us. Wedding bands. Well tended grass. Oversized garage doors.

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The New Yorker- Deanna Dikeman’s portrait series

It is my mom, now. By herself. My dad died over a year ago. Quarantine for the mourning. Unfair. Just the bitter part of bitter sweet unless you can focus on the life lived together. And my mom does. She focuses on the good- grandchildren, bike rides under Great Oaks, sunsets with no-see-ums, reading on the dock, lining new book shelves with treasures, ordering shrimp po-boys, puzzles, quilting. She makes her bed everyday. A king size bed. His hospital bed was in the picture window of their bedroom so he could see the water, the tides, the sunset. My mom remembers all this better than any of us.

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He came out to see us off in his wheel chair even when it was soo hard. He waved from the upper area of the stair well. I took the twenty. Mum stood next to him.

I think he is the hawk who circles my sky in Decatur. I’m pretty sure he is the hawk.

Once I went to a card reader and I told her that my Aunt Kay visits me. And that my Aunt Kay is an owl. The woman was dismayed and disappointed in my lack of understanding the spiritual universe and she told me that my Aunt Kay would not want to be trapped inside an owl’s body. The card reader thought I was crazy. I know Aunt Kay isn’t trapped inside the owl. I figure when Aunt Kay knows I need her and she isn’t too busy in heaven, she flies around and makes her solemn hoot. Solid and motherly and guiding, I spot her and know she sees me.

My dad isn’t trapped inside the hawk. He visits and he likes to check on us. I wondered if my dad would come as a cardinal or a Magnolia tree. I wondered how I would know. My dad is incredibly giving and pure of heart, a lover of orchids and toddlers. But he has a side to him that contradicts that- like we all do. My dad was well liked. He was a leader. He was the forever young tree climber and hiker and builder. He would want me to see him as the hawk- not a small cardinal or a flowering tree. He is large and mighty soaring the skies, providing for his family.

When the quarantine is over, I will go to my mom’s house first.

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