This morning, I quickly grabbed a dress out of the closet to wear to work on this 95 degree day. I put it on, slathered sunblock on my face, dusted on eyeshadow and bolted out the door.
Only halfway through my commute did I realize....this is the dress I wore to my father's funeral. Black and summery, with black roses stitched into the bodice.
Towards the end of my lunchtime yoga class, we lie in Savasana, our heads supported by yoga blankets, our knees resting on bolsters. Today, Jessica put eye pillows on our eyes. Classical music began to play, and I knew I had heard this before. I just didn't remember where. Could it have been a Sunday at daddy's when I was a kid? The picture popped into my head - me, walking out of the bedroom to find daddy, sitting in his burgundy leather easy chair, back to me, his bald head and strong shoulders sticking out over the top of the chair, sipping coffee from a teacup he had gotten with my mother in London.
I began to cry very quietly. Not that this was alarming. I always cry at the end of yoga, or any fitness class, for various reasons.
I thought of a book I'm reading, Say Her Name, by Francisco Goldman. I first got interested in him because he wrote a book about Guatemala and its civil war and the murders and corruption that took place during it. It was fiction, but rooted in history. I discovered that he too came from a Guatemalan mother and an American father. And now I am reading a book about the woman he married and lost only three years into their relationship.
That's when I remembered the name: Chapultepec Park.
I thought of the letters daddy used to write to my mom while on his business trips. There was definitely love in those letters. My parents really did love each other once. My mother will never admit it. Port-au-Prince, Guatemala City, Santiago, La Paz, etc. One letter in particular was written in Chapultepec Park to my mother while she was pregnant, and daddy described to her the little train that the kids could ride around the park, the trees to climb, how happy it all made him, and how he pictured his baby, me, there. I can see him sitting on a bench, writing this letter, the grin on his face.
And I realized that he is there, sitting on a bench, waiting for me.