A number of years ago, to the day, I was sitting in the living room of the blonde brick house in Northern Kentucky where I’d lived from the age of ten until I went away to college. I was visiting with my mom and Brendon. (For brevity of the story, we’ll say he’s my nephew.) I can’t recall what mom and I were doing or discussing or watching on TV. I know how I was feeling. I know each year on October 30, it takes all I have to make it through the day. I remember VIVIDLY what Brendon was doing. Brendon was painting.
You see, on October 30, 1999, my Dad lost his battle with brain cancer. He had fought long and hard, just as his father had before him. He was tired and a shell of himself. He became whole and perfect again that day. But I’m a selfish mortal and, even to this day, I still want him here with me. Since he died, I always wanted to know if/when he was around. I’ve always wanted to feel him or hear him or know, without a doubt, that he was with me.
As mom and I were doing whatever it was we were doing, Brendon took out a square sheet of red paper. He took a brush and dipped it into the blue paint. He made what seemed to be a few random brush strokes. He lifted the paper to his lips and blew lightly on the wet paint. He brought the painting over to my mom and I and said, “This is Autumn’s Daddy as an angel in Heaven.”
You’re always with me, every day.