I picked up my son in the school yard and as I looked down, as I stepped up, I saw a battery-lighted tealight at my foot…I picked it up quickly in the crowd and put it in my pocket.
“Mom…buy me some ice cream!” my son excitedly shouted with his arms flailing around trying to catch some excitement.
The traffic was heavy heading East. I was thankful to be in the car and out of the city. My son Ben was chatting about how he was going to go in the pool as soon as he arrived in Quogue. He was anxious to start the summer and we were free, finally, after all those projects and school events. No planning, no place to be.
“Ben we are going to see where the summer wind takes us on our next adventure,” I said as I turned on the radio. My father always liked easy listening and it was still on his car radio. His Mercedes smelled the same as when he drove me to college. I touched the sheepskin covers on the seats and I put on his Ray-Bans I’d found hidden above the ashtray.
The sun was ahead on Montauk and it blinded me for a moment. As we passed our house, we made the turn and headed for town.
We walked slowly down Main Street and stopped at our favorite shops. Saw some friends and told them our plans for the weekend. I waved to my shoe store girlfriend.
We had our routine and we crossed over to the bakery where we picked up our bread and my favorite iced tea and we headed to the bookstore to pick out a new book. We went into the new bookstore and wandered around looking for our next read. Ben found a Lego book and I picked up the new best seller, which all the girls are reading.
Having a book or a magazine was a treat. It always gave me a feeling of relaxation and took my mind off what I was worrying about at the moment. They put the book in a shiny gold bag and I was ready for the weekend.
We tossed a penny in the fountain and made a wish for us. We looked down on the sidewalk and saw a silver metal bookmark with blue tassel. We bent down and picked it up together…both always looking for a treasure, a shell on the beach or a piece of nature, and turned it around and it said SERENITY with a beautiful hummingbird on it.
I picked a flower and put it in my hair. We drove past the white horse on the corner and then drove into our white gates. My mother was outside with the dog Bentley trying to jump out of her arms to get to Ben. He was as excited as my son was and they connected with licks and kisses all around.
Mom was happy and it was the first time I saw her smile since my dad passed away.
My mother had prepared some food for our arrival. We opened my dad’s room and Ben said, “Hi, poppy.”
And Ben ran into his room to say hi to his toys that missed him so.
We smiled at our new treasure and as I felt a calm come over me, I knew my father was home again.