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Spirit

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My hands grip tightly onto the chains as my legs pump back and forth; my hair sways to the rhythm of the wind. I close my eyes, and inhale the smell of the grill on the patio above. Eyes open, the ground appears buried under a blanket of leaves; dead, but yet so full of life. The colors practically blind me, I shut my eyes again. I descend to the ground, almost touching the pile of leaves below me, but my legs are too small. “Hold on tight” he says. I feel a hand push against my small, immature, body. I am flying, in the air, feet off the ground, eyes closed- but feeling not a stroke of loneliness. His hand pulses warmth into my body and out through my soul. My tiny legs keep pumping, but the hand takes me higher.
Daddy always used to push me.

I stand in the snow, my legs are half covered. Everything is white, and I am wearing a big black winter jacket- so I don’t get cold. The crackling of ice, and the downpour of snow, makes the season cozy. I have a carrot in one hand, and buttons in the other; hoping to make the face of the body. I place the body parts down, and I start rolling a snowball. I roll, and roll, and roll. I stand up, brush the snow off my knees, and step back. The head is so big, I gather all my strength and try to lift the huge ball of icy snow- I can’t do it on my own. I catch a glimpse of him in the window. “ Here, let me help you.” He says. He runs out in his pajamas, and slippers, and helps me place the heavy head on my snowman.
Daddy always used to help me.

Faster, faster, faster. Wheels turn, the sun is shining, I inhale pollen- I let out a sneeze.
“Follow me” he says. The sun is blocked by his broad masculine back that stands right before me. Flowers are blooming and I am getting older. I approach a hill; I change the gear on the handle to make the way up easier. I still have to wear this stupid helmet, oh well- he says I have to. I have no clue where I am going; I am just following this back. I am lost without it, I guess.
Daddy always used to lead me.

I step up to the edge of the pontoon boat, sit down and dip my big toe into the water; quickly removing it, startled by the unexpected cold temperature. The sun beats upon my face turning it bright red, making me uncomfortable and hot. I submerge my whole foot this time and unexpectedly adapt within seconds to the coldness. I then confidently add my second foot into the deep water. After about ten seconds, I remove both of my feet because of the nibbling I feel on my toes. Standing up, I move back from the edge, feel a second breeze pass across my pores, and instantly take a running start and jump. I am wearing an orange life-jacket, he made me wear it.
Daddy always used to protect me.



December 6, 2005
He stopped pushing.
He stopped helping.
He stopped leading.
He stopped protecting.
Daddy was no longer there.



She walks into a room filled with the faces of sorrow. Tears pour down her face and slowly cloud her vision. Sweat slowly drips from her palms as she squeezes her sister’s hand. The grip of her thirteen-year old fingers tightens as her anxiety level soars. Her sister gazes into her eyes, signing to calm down. She approaches the front of the sanctuary, her three older sisters on one side and her mother on the other, passing his coffin on the way. The family sits down in the warm, cushioned chairs. They try to appreciate the comfort, but their tense, shocked, pale bodies will not relax. To the right- her grandmother. To the left- his best friend. She can feel the beat of the hundreds of sympathetic hearts pounding against her back. She gradually releases her sister’s hand and stares down at the piece of paper crumpled in her now soaking palms. With her head bowed and hands shaking, she hears the Rabbi introduce the next speaker. "Eric's youngest daughter would like to speak." She is too focused on hoping she will wake up from this dream, and does not hear the man. Her sister taps her, she gathers her self together. She rises from her seat and slowly ascends the stairs onto the podium. As she attempts to resurrect the sweat-sodden paper, a faint feeling of pride and strength, enters her. It is enough to help her go on. She takes a deep breath into the microphone, and looks down at her father's eulogy that she had written the day before.

I finish and lift my head from the reading position. I find myself smiling at the hundreds of tearful eyes, satisfied with the knowledge that Daddy’s spirit lives in me; pushing, helping, leading, and protecting.





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