There, nestled in an old ice-cream tub, are my dad's reading glasses. They've been there for nearly six years. After he died I tidied them away, along with some familiar bits and pieces from his work bench.
We've moved house four times since then, but we've only just opened the box marked 'Dad's Workshop'. I'd been ignoring it, along with the boxes marked 'Sell - Ebay' and 'S clothes (too small)'. We've only been in our current (forever) home for eleven months, but the unpacking ground to a halt within a few weeks of moving in. Every now and then - when we need to make some space in the garage - we open a few boxes. After the thrill of unearthing our karaoke DVD's, we moved on to the difficult stuff.
I took out each unusual tool, spring, wheel or ancient box and held it in my hands for a few seconds. Trying to feel something. To remember. I could smell stale cigarette smoke, methylated spirits and watch oil. This combination has always been enough to make me nauseous. Still I touched each item, hoping to get a piece of my daddy back. When I held his glasses I felt overwhelming loss.
I miss him.
I wiped away big splashy teardrops and carefully put dad's glasses back in the ice-cream tub, on top of his tools. One day I'll put everything into a proper display case, so my boys can see what their grandad did. I'll tell them that my daddy made the clock on our mantelpiece. Not now. Not yet. Now I've put dad's glasses back in a box in the garage. Buried them under the spare bits of carpet and empty boxes. I've tucked away my grief and will keep it for another day.