being there

“I lost her six months ago. It’s still fresh. And, for the first three months, I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t tell people. They’d just say, “Oh, I’m sorry,” and what do I say to that? Thank you?”
She told me that group support meetings helped, but there are just some things…
“How old were you when you lost your dad?”
“Six.”
“Do you think about it – like – ‘he won’t be there to walk me down the aisle?'” and, I laughed, shaking my head yes We think about all of it. Every possible world. No, it doesn’t really get easier. We’re not the kind of people who need to hear that. She continues, as though letting all of this out for the first time. “Normally I’d just call her, like today, and say,” she holds her hand up to her ear as though it’s a phone, “‘Mom, I met this really great person today’, but,” and she drops her hands in her lap and searches my eyes. “My mom won’t be here when I have my first child. What if something happens that hasn’t happened to me before? Who will I ask when something gross comes out of me – like – is this normal?”
She’s shaking her head. We’ve parked in front of my house, her hands are off the wheel and her eyes are locked on mine. I decide not to tell her that she has my mother’s eyes. Because, with this particular shade of gray blue, it’s likely that it’s a mutual eeriness. Instead, we just look at each other for long moments, both of us pretending that I don’t have to go. She thanks me, and says she hopes she gets me again. I’ve never had the same Uber driver twice, but it could happen.
We had tried to talk about other things. The weather, the roads, coffee, charities, and early mornings. We even tried silence, at first. But, if you let it, sometimes the real conversation will come out on its own.

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