Her hand rests in mine, fingers tucked into my palm. It is both familiar and comforting. Together we are setting off on an adventure.
We chat and laugh as we cross streets. Everything is new; everything is unfamiliar.
The day is gorgeous, perfect amount of sun and breezes. Tourists mix with locals as they, like us, wander and enjoy the day. We find ourselves crossing a creek, walking past a park, and then… everything changes. Suddenly there are different and older buildings. There are quaint shops boarding narrow sidewalks and streets.
Suddenly I am awash with thoughts not considered in years.
It is September. I have traveled from Norfolk to spend the weekend. The weather is beyond gorgeous – it is perfect. I find myself, for the first time in our lives, sharing the memory of an experience I shared and loved with her Dad. She and I talked about bridges and ice cream and old houses. We wandered the streets a little and explored as I did with him so very long ago. I realized, with amazing poignancy, that I had not been to Georgetown in the years between the experience remembered and its retelling.
She reveled in the stories forcing me to realize that throughout her life, I have talked very little about the experiences her dad and I shared.
For those few hours on that beautiful day, as I walked and talked with my daughter, I felt as if I was caught between two worlds – that of memory and that of today. I remembered the feel of his strong, roughened hand while the hand I held was child soft with playground adventure blisters. For moments, my hand felt the past and the present; the past and the present merged in my heart.
The most cherished picture I have of her dad and I together was taken that day… that September day in Georgetown when the sun shone and the world sparkled. Our daughter has that picture in her room – her parents enjoying each moment of a single day.