|Photo by Linnaea Mallette|
Pushing aside the gauze curtains, I glanced out the back window and watched as my seven-year-old shuffled down the driveway. She reached the street, looking to her left and then to her right, waiting for her friend to come and play with her, to distract her, to make her forget for a while.
I don't think she heard me approaching as she sat cross-legged at the end of the driveway. I assumed her position and we sat quietly for a while, side-by-side. We were both waiting. The nightmare that had begun two short endless days ago was ever present. My husband, her daddy, was gone and tonight we had to go to a service where he would be eulogized.
"Did Daddy have on his old shoes?" Her question disrupted my thoughts.
"What?" I asked.
She repeated the question.
"What do you mean, Bethany?"
"Well, if Daddy had on his new tennis shoes, he could have run faster and gotten away from the fire."
I didn't know what to say. I, too, wanted answers.
Again, Bethany spoke. "I wish he would've worn his new shoes."
I still had no words for her. We went back to waiting, side-by-side. She was waiting for her friend. I was waiting, hoping, praying for the alarm clock to ring and for my husband to say, "Hana, it's time to get up."