Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We Love You. (The Susie)

If Alan was here this Father's Day I'd say let's go for a sail. Let's bundle up Lily in ten life jackets and go out on the water. I'll make gourmet sandwiches (Alan always laughed at me because I called everything I made gourmet), we'll go to City Island and take out a boat. Lily would love the water...
Today we had lunch overlooking the Hudson and between smiles and standing with wobbly legs in my lap, she'd stare out over the river. Alan loved everything about sailing and I knew that on days when he'd go out he'd be crashed in bed sound asleep by 8pm that night. The fresh air and the peacefulness he experienced in the waves quieted all of his thoughts - I think he loved being able to look ahead of the boat and relished in the luxury of being able to see what was coming. Because being able to navigate amid all of the river's obstacles was nothing to him, and I'm sure he took comfort in being able to control something. That was what was so wonderful about watching him guide the boat; the elements, of all things, had no hold on him. I, on the other hand, was always perched at the bow - on the lookout for tankers that I was convinced would be our doom. They approached so quickly and it was a test for me to trust that Alan knew just what to do. And he handled the maneuvers with grace. Lily would have watched his every move with awe. She has his quiet, observant stare and when she sees something that interests her, she watches, glued, with a fixation that tunes out the rest of the world. Not even a blink from her paintbrush eyes. That is how she would have been with him. And she'd watch him and watch him and somehow his soft expressions would coax her into one of her beautiful grins.
I miss him so, so much.
Alan loved children and was great with them. It is painful not having him for so many reasons - we'd introduce him to Banana, Little Black and White Dog and Sophie the Giraffe, we'd show him how good Lily is at rolling over to the right, how she loves the photo over the changing table of us at Yankee Stadium, how she likes to kick and splash in the tub, and she'd show him how she can make an impressive B sound as she blows impressive bubbles.
And she could experience how good it felt to be held in his arms.
How good he smelled.
Feel his warmth.
And when I'd show off how she has embraced sleeping through the night, he would whisper in my ear with his usual playful, mischievous humor, "Let's wake her up". He could never get enough time with a cute baby.
Alan had always said that, one day, he'd get a sailboat and name it "The Susie". If he were here today, I'd get him one. It would be our second home. Alan could lead, I'd be on the lookout, and Lily would pitter patter back and forth between us, barefooted but bundled.

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