Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Combing his hair. Like Mom

TUESDAY, August 3 – My beloved youngest son, you’re looking out the window of our hotel room on the fifth floor and scrunching up your eyes. Not because of the setting sun, behind the modest skyscrapers of downtown Buffalo, but because I’m combing your hair and that always hurts. I do a few strands at a time because I don’t have your mother’s patience.

You screw up your eyes, but you don’t say anything. You know I’m doing my best to get all the snarls out. I’m careful but not nearly as gentle as your mother. She had very long hair as a girl and she knew that it took a while before the comb would glide smoothly through your hair.

The ordeal is over and you open your eyes. Large brown irises, just like your mother. I run the comb through your hair one last time, try to make a part and comb your straight wisps back.  For a second our eyes meet. Your eyes are just like your mother’s. I narrow my eyes and gaze out the window at the buildings in the background. Your familiar gaze brings on my tears.

You don’t see them and indignantly you rumple up your hair, the way boys will do.

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