Monday, 16 April 2007

Sometimes they are ready but I am not.

    I sail to the moon
    I spoke too soon
    And how much did it cost
    I was dropped from the moonbeam
    And sailed on shooting stars
    Maybe you'll be president
    But know right from wrong
    Or in the flood you'll build an Ark
    And sail us to the moon

It's been 275 days since her father died, and Ruth was out yesterday afternoon jumping in puddles with triumphant glee, soaked to her ears, covered with mud. Wearing green wellies, a yellow raincoat and carrying her ladybug umbrella aloft, Ruth was heralding spring all by herself on the sidewalk in front of the house while I sat on the front steps with all three doors behind me into the house wide open to welcome the warmer air after the rain. Warmer being six degrees, and so we wore sweaters buttoned up tight against the chill.

Jacob was beside me on the steps frowning into his paperwork and scribbling lines and lines of writing, stopping every now and again to ask me if I was cold enough yet or more softly, if I wanted a new hot cup of coffee or some toast. He's spent most of the past week and a half sitting next to me and stroking my hair or holding my hand tightly in his, things he does perpetually anyway, with his new customary touch of concern, a dash of extra patience and more than a little sympathy and regret. When I tell him I'm fine and I can still do just about all the boring things myself he lets an edge of pride round out his expression, because physically I am tougher than you would expect. I heal fast, and I rarely slow down for long.

I'm just about one hundred percent again.

Physically anyhow.

Some of Ruth's friends from school came by and she came in to ask if they could stay for a quick tea party and I went to get a towel when I saw her coming and by the time I got to the top of the staircase, she was running in through the porch trying to get Jake's attention.

Only she wasn't yelling Jake! Jake!

She was yelling Dad.

And oddly I could feel his smile before I even saw it.

You couldn't miss it. It was a thousand-watt beam coming straight from his heart.