Eight summers since

eight summers ago
blue daisies carried your spirit 
upon your adopted hometown's river
some of your ashes laid to peace upon a fisherman's bay

eight summers later
you look upon your four-year-old granddaughter
who never had the chance to know her Lolo, 
but she knows your photos

eight summers later 
happy weeps 
like 7am morning dew on lush Virginia grass
where we now live
as lovers of the beach, the woods, the lake

and now
eight summers later
heartprints abound and flicker like summer's fireflies
we love our memories of you


Hellos from heaven

The Pohick Stream Valley Trail runs behind our home. Since we've moved in, I've had a few surprise visits, and they've been magical moments as I watch from our kitchen.

Still waking up with my coffee mug in hand, I'll glance up and catch the flitting of a summer yellow butterfly, and it perches itself amidst a backdrop of lush trees, staying just a few seconds longer than I expect. It soars through the woods in sight, then will once again sit on a leaf for a short while. Its canary companion dances from the other direction and also stays a bit. 

Hellos from heaven? Perhaps. 

Between N.'s funky 4th birthday, my phenomenal 44th (hers the day before mine) and my Dad's death anniversary, the month of August functions as a considerable time for reflection. 

This week, a Jersey City schoolmate's cancer-free 12-year-old son died from complications of a bone marrow transplant. Since two years ago that J. was diagnosed with leukemia, she has courageously shared her family's journey via photos and updates with supporters near and far, members of Team Jack. The death of any child for whatever reason is always heartbreaking, even more so when we personally know a friend who has suffered such an unbearable loss. Fish on to your heart's desire, sweet J. 

In a shifting hush, I watch for these butterflies' next ruffle. My heart is especially heavy for Team Jack. I am thankful for this instant in our new home, for my loving partner and sassy daughter, our generous families, and this immediate gift of now.  

Visits from these buttercup and tangerine winged creatures are moments of uncanny pause as I feel my heartprints pitter-patter.