I love you more.

Today you would have been 85. And somehow though the years are moving forward without you, you still are here. Your name is mentioned at least once a day. A story remembered. A song turned up a little louder.
I see her in the profile of my mother, I hear her in the voice of my aunt on the answering machine. In the phrasing of my brother when he is surprised, the grit of my sister, in the ease I find on the telephone. So, she’s here. 
It’s different, but I still feel you. 
These flowers were hers, dug up by my grieving mother and transplanted to our garden. Every Spring, they peak, as they always have-up through the soil. Bright and promising. Tiny and beautiful. Things change and so much stays the same. The good stuff that is. That’s lucky. Or that’s grace. Maybe both. 
I was afraid when you died that the love I felt for you would have no where to go. Sent out into darkness forever searching and never reaching its target. 
I was wrong. I radiate towards you and wherever you are, your love comes back. Through space and time. Molecules and chemistry. Through seasons, and memories and in the moments of great sorrow or joy. That’s when I feel you most. As though I had called you subconsciously and you are silent, waiting and patient on the other side of the line. Even though I don’t hear your breathe as confirmation-your presence is felt.
You cried when we sang silent night on Christmas. You said of all the pink ladies you would have been Rizzo. You stole a copy of Lassie from a store when you were a little girl and felt so guilty you returned it. You dragged a Christmas tree home in anger and threw your engagement ring at Pop because you wanted to go to a dance. You made great fried onions and kept all of our school pictures in your purse. You kept your secrets and never kept ours and loved in your strange lopsided way (like we all do). I keep one of your nightgowns in my closet, it hangs about your height, and I touch it periodically surprised by its softness. Remembering you wearing it. Feeling you with me, standing immediately behind me boomeranging the love that pops up like your tiny yellow flowers. Bright and promising. Tiny and beautiful. Luck. Grace. Love.

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