The mug I gave to my Daddy on Father's Day 1987. I was three and he was happy.
The years marched and I yielded to spring breaks and heavy-bellied summers. God willing, autumn will come and winter. My father lived in winter, but he never lived to let his grandchildren run sticky hands in his snow-white hair. He didn't live long enough to have white hair, only a speckling sprinkling of gray just beginning, the seasons just starting to change again. He stopped. Aborted. Ran so hard from living that now there is nothing left to change. So I change in his stead, in his absence, with sticky precious hands caressing my hair.
I drink tea from a mug whose message still rings true.
It has been twenty-three years. In one month--a breath, a beat--my daughter will turn three. Three, like I was when he was happy. And I am happy, and I am sad.
With so many things shattered, the mug is not. Nor the memories. My tea is hot. I sip in steam with sunshine pouring in, and I know the comfort of warmth and seasons past and seasons still to be. I read the mug again, remember, whisper small and sad the words of a three year old in her proud Daddy's arms. I said it with a mug, and I'll say it again and always and for ever.
I love you, Dad.