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The night after we got back from a lovely vacation I cried for a couple hours. It was the leftovers from a number of nearly crying moments during the vacation itself. 

My dad’s birthday is Tuesday. In a different year, I would be tempted to send him photos of us and the things we saw. In my mind I would write notes about what was what. What we learned about naked mole rats from their caregivers, or what the glass blower taught us about the “dime a dozen” Chihuly trained gaffers. I’d talk about how the beaches with a lot of people are amazing, and how the lesser traveled beaches are awash in ghoulish crab legs and horror movie …. things but there is a lot of driftwood that is fun to pile around on. 

I would tell him about our incredible good luck with the weather and how Jeff could not have handled a flight that long a year earlier. I’d talk about driving the Seattle hills that were a physical reincarnation of my “falling” dream. 

I would tell him, because I know only now, what a precious thing it is to have someone who moves through museums at the same pace. I’d thank him for our matching paces. 

I won’t though, and except for the trips that he and I took together I rarely did that sort of wrap up. Last year our May vacation was just beach shots at sunrise – and we didn’t know what we didn’t know. The late July trip included seeing him, with gifts from the Marine museum. By my Pittsburgh conference trip…well, architecture stories were not that amazing anymore. 

I don’t know. Maybe I wouldn’t do any of that, maybe we would just sit next to each other for awhile. 

About six months after my first husband died I went to yoga camp and for a few days, while surrounded by supportive people who made sure I was ok, I went through the biggest of the realizations that my husband was DEAD dead.   I had done a ton of totally competent adult stuff in that six months, but the list of things I wanted to tell him “next time” had gotten far too long to ignore. 

I have a bunch of stories to tell my dad, but nowhere to send the pictures.