We are leaving tomorrow. Sometimes I wonder if I'm grieving. I can sing along to an ABBA song, eat as much as I did before Dad died, make plans to go bowling or to watch the sunset at the beach with my cousin and so on.
Even in the house where Dad died. Surrounded by the flowers he had watered, the hummingbirds he had invited into his garden, the house projects he left unfinished. Drinking the last of the water he had tapped. He has only stepped out; home, soon.
When we arrived three weeks ago, the jasmine tree in the backyard was creamy with bloom, its vicinity heavy with sweet perfume, the scent of dreamers and celestial dancers. Wind-trembled stars veiled the lawn. Bees, butterflies, and beetles grazed among its branches. Now those winged devotees have deserted their temple, as the last flowers watered by my father turn into crisp yellow shades of themselves, their evanescent perfume vanishing with the summer.
I feel like my life has ended, Mom said in the car as we head home from the bagel shop. No, Mom, it's just different now.