tonight, i spent hours looking through etsy shops for christmas presents. there are so many wonderful things to be found. and, suddenly i found a shop with these delightful polymer clay pendants and pins and such...and there it was. the perfect christmas gift for you. a hummingbird. i almost clicked to add it to my shopping cart. but, then i remembered. you are gone. and the sucker-punching wave of grief crashed onto me. this is how it works. i forget for just a second. because most of the time i really really remember. but sometimes, i will forget for just this one little moment and it will seem like you are here and that i might just call you tomorrow to tell you all about my day and hear about the birds at your feeder and how grandpa drives you just a bit crazy and how you are looking forward to seeing my mom for thanksgiving and how you plan to send me money to buy the ornaments this year because you are too tired to go out of the house. and you will laugh when i tell you that i actually cooked dinner tonight because you always ask me what i plan to make my husband and i usually sputter some answer about how he cooks or that we plan to get sushi again. but this time i will be able to say that i actually made stew and we sat at the table and drank wine and talked. and then we can talk about how i am planning on buying only handmade christmas gifts this year and that i found the perfect one for you, but you will have to wait until next month to see what it is. and then you will say that it has been so long since you have seen me at christmas and that you are wondering if jon and i might think about coming to see you and gramps. and then i will say that would be really wonderful and we can have a quiet christmas just the four of us. and it will be just like when we went to myrtle beach and it was like two couples on vacation together. and i remember sitting on the balcony next to you while you did the crossword and i was looking out at the ocean thinking about how lucky i am because how many girls are there in the world who have been married for a few months and take their new husband on a vacation with their grandparents who have been married for 57 years and yet have the best time together. and i remember turning and looking at you and smiling. and now, as i sit here in this quiet house with candles burning and rain pushing against the roof, i can see you in my mind and because i am listening so closely to the voice that lives in my heart i hear your laughter and your words and i know. i know. i know...but i guess i also just need you to know how much i miss you and i miss the idea of you and all that could have been and all that was. so i am going to sit here for a little while and just pretend that you are still here and that i am going to call in the morning as i put the tea kettle on and then, as i begin to spread peanut butter on my toast, i will hear you say that you are hoping we might come for christmas this year. and i will be surprised because you seldom ask for anything but i will say yes, i think that is a wonderful idea, and when i hang up the phone i will smile widely because i know i will see you in a few short weeks…i am just going to sit here for a few minutes and pretend.