There is a small cemetery slightly off the trail that leads down to the River. The headstones are old and moss-covered for the most part. The two most recent ones, my father’s and my daughter’s are carved into smooth, grey granite. The markers are as simple as a Protestant would allow. I slow my pace to a walk when I pass the small graveyard that is set back inside of a white picket fence. This land belongs to the school. Both my father and my daughter belonged to the school, thus they belong to this land. A syllogism if ever I saw one.
My father died unexpectedly. I have missed him every day since his death. I am grateful that he did not suffer from a long, debilitating disease that robbed him of his memory or vitality. The cause was identified; It was as simple as his heart stopped beating. It has been three years since he died. Accepting his death has been like swallowing a chicken bone; it goes down hard.
There are times I can convince myself that Kelly is not gone. The idea is at once. so preposterous, so out of the realm of possibility, that I literally find myself on autopilot planning doctors appointments, hair appointments and trips for Kelly. I have had to keep secret that she comes to me. In the house, on the soccer fields, during morning assemblies, I see Kelly. The only place that I am not haunted by her is when I am along, or in, the Connecticut River.