The day before Alan passed he had a special date with Emma.She was four years old then.They went with her playgroup to The World of Birds in Hout Bay.A Daddy and his Girl outing.The next morning he was gone.
A few weeks later in a lonely,sad moment I sat in his closet.It was a comfort to be surrounded by his clothes and still sense the scent of him there.His warmest jacket was closest to me and I put my hand in the deep pocket.I felt the feather ,tucked in there for safekeeping.I gave it to Emma as a special momento of that day.
A few weeks later Emma was playing on the verandah with a piece of luminous chalk her Uncle John had brought her from America.She drew an enormous circle on the paving.
"I am just marking a place so my Dad knows where to look for me" , she said wisely.
Months later we were in the garden.Emma was playing on the lawn.It was an airless day with a very blue sky.A feather gently wafted down, just whispering past Emma's little face.
"Look Mom,Dad got my message and he has replied!!!" She still has both the feathers.Safely tucked away.