Seven years ago, little sweetheart, I woke with you for the last time. You were curled up in my arms with your little feet around my ankles, your hot water bottle pushed off the side of the bed to the floor, warm enough now in an embrace. You kissed me and we lingered together for an hour.
A beautiful day, warm and glistening and filled with love and promise and adventures together, that ended in tragedy and left me forever broken.
I look for you everywhere and seize upon anything that might be a sign, a trace of you trying your best to comfort and guide me.
This morning, after saying our prayer and stroking the things that lay upon your pillow, talking to you softly, after texting your parents and just sitting inconsolable on the bed in tears, I rose and walked to the kitchen to make coffee and begin the day, however sadly, however lost. There upon the counter was an inexplicable ring of condensation. A circle of tiny water dots like a speech bubble in an illustration waiting to be filled in with some message. At its outer edge the sun glanced off the surface in a kind of arrow, as if to indicate directions.
I can't know the day. I can't know the hour. I can't even know why I remain. But I must listen quietly and simply have faith that someday, some hour, sometime (and may it be soon), I will be returned to you.
I've a picture of us, a selfie before people called them that, of you and I, our faces pressed together, your lips upon my cheek, standing within a stone circle at the edge of the world - the end of the Sheep's Head peninsula out beyond the lighthouse on our trip to Ireland.
Moments after it was snapped and we began trekking back to the village, we got lost, taking a wrong turn and losing the path. It was becoming dusk and I got worried. I ran ahead looking for a fork that would return us before it got dark and we were truly lost. You cried out, because I was walking too fast for you, and I turned. When I did I saw a sign - only visible from this direction, only able to be perceived because I was turned away from the rogue path, only visible because I was turned to face you - an arrow that showed me, showed us the way. The True Way.
And that way is you, my little sweetheart.
In all things, how you have saved and changed and guided me, from the day I met you to this very moment when I can't touch or see you, when I ache to do so, still you find a way to help me find the way. Ever grateful, I love you forever. And trust my soul, which is best equipped to hear you, which is itself half of your own, to perceive your guiding presence and lead me home. For home is you.
With all my love forever. Forever, Summer. Forever, my little sweetheart. Forever.