A flash of red between the trees caught my eye.  I turned my attention to the left side of the highway and the splashes of bright color amidst the grays and greens.  “I should stop.”  I sighed and I flipped my turn-signal on, studying the flags dotting the small cemetery in the dwindling light.  I parked beside the tiny country church and made my way to the southwest side of the lot.  Everything was orange from the glow of the setting sun: marble grave marker, red roses, little flag.  And wet.  Raindrops clung to every surface like tears but there were no tears for me.

I missed my Papa today.  I missed his cackling laugh, his crazy stories and the little jig he’d dance when he was happy about something.  My gratitude, however, is stronger than my grief.  I’m thankful for the years spent trailing along behind him as he fixed tractors and leaky roofs and flattened bicycle tires.  I’m better for them.

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