I was tucking Madelynn into bed and during our nighttime prayers we listed everyone in our family for a blessing including aunts, uncles and cousins.  The list was long with names.  At the closing Maddi told me with a sad undertone in her voice, “You forgot daddy.”

Quickly I added his name to our prayer—a strong addendum.

Then reaching her hands into the air she stretched to give her dad a one-sided hug and made a kissing sound with her lips.  She smiled at me…satisfied–the gesture completely rewarding.

I wonder why so much of life insists to be one-sided.  How much fuller life is when shared. Loss has a wild way of taking sides, cutting us in half, making life ridiculously lonely.

I am mostly grateful tonight that my daughter is teaching me to defy feelings of one-sidedness. She refuses to forget. And she innocently shares a hug with those she loves the most…those who breathe right next to her along with someone who no longer walks this earth.

I am on her side.

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