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Bedsheets, Duct tape and Hockey sticks

December 21, 2018
Stacy Mah

In my mind…
I often see him filling his glass with his trademark ice cubes.
I can see him standing at the fridge.
I know exactly how his pants rest on his hips.
I know how he wears his belt.
I know how his little but fills out the pockets of his Diesel jeans.
I know how his soft, worn Guess jeans comfortably rest on his feet just above his perfectly aged Birkenstocks.
I know how Mike uses the inside of his wrists to casually pull up the waist of his pants
as he stands talking to me.
I know exactly how he stood. I know his posture like it is my own.

I see his hands on the freezer door.
Sometimes I run my fingers along the handle of the freezer because I want my fingers to trace where his once were.
I see him walking down the stairs.
I know how he positions his feet on the stairs.
I know the sound of his feet when they land on the carpet.
I know the angle at which his knees bend and still can see how he holds the bannister in his hand.

I can hear him humming as he walks.
I know the tune of his hum and I could pick it out on any street, anywhere in the world.

Sometimes remembering these simple things takes my breath away.
And, the thought of someday not being able to remember these fine, intimate details
also takes my breath away.

When I stand outside I can see Mike come out the back door.
On sunny days, I see him with a tray of steaks to BBQ with the boys.
At nighttime, I look at the back door and I imagine he walks through it,
In my mind, he comes outside to sit with me and talk under the stars,
Just like he has so many nights before.

When I look at the hedges I remember Mike trimming them on a hot afternoon.
And, when I make my bed every morning I see him on his side pulling up the sheets with me.

As I come around the corner I hear him say “Hey Beautiful”
Just like he said to me a thousand times before.
When I glance at the couch I hear his voice saying “Come here Baby, let’s just relax”.

I’ve look through the window as my son mows the lawn and I see him carefully wrap the cord around his hand and elbow the way Mike showed him to.

In the basement, sometimes I stop and hold my breath
I see the fort that Mike built for my youngest son using bedsheets, duct tape and hockey sticks.
The fort is long gone. Everything has been put away. But, still…
He’s everywhere.

-Stacy Mah

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