I keep finding tender purple pansies growing in corners of my yard where they were never planted. Stubborn and fragile, cheerful without cause, they remind me of Caroline. Purple was her favorite color. She used to help me plant the pansies every fall, or at least I think she did, because too many of the good memories are so faint now. In a storybook a father would remember everything, but it’s not true; you lose things no matter how desperately you cling to them. In a storybook there would be new memories replacing these fading ones; in a storybook she would still be here.
When the wind hits the leaves just so, I feel her hair blowing against my face. When the sun touches the ocean in the late afternoon, I see her smile. When her brothers giggle, I hear her laugh, and in their prayers I hear her whisper. She is still here, just not in the way I would like.
I can wait. I’m stubborn too, like those flowers out of place. I can wait.