Did they know we were going to be driving that route today?
Did they know as they readied themselves for their errands and tasks they would stop along the side of the road to let us pass?
Did they know, when they saw us, they would flash their lights to us as we passed?
Did they know they would open the door of their cars and stand in respect as we drove by?
Did they know?
Did they know the man they were honoring was the one who took me to the park on that hot summer day and had to carry me home when the metal side was too hot to slide down?
Did they know the man they were honoring would make me homemade ice cream every summer? I would wait for him to say it was time to test and we would each take a spoon and scrape it against the beater, filling it with sweet vanilla cream.
Did they know the man they were honoring loved to tell stories? He could spin a yarn with the best of them. The best ones were the ones he told of him and his brothers growing up on the family farm in Arkansas and the trouble they created.
Did they know the man they were honoring loved to play Skipbo and Pitch, had traveled the world, and had loved his family well for ninety-six years?
Did they know?
Did they know that when I saw them, stopping their day, getting out of their cars to stand in respect, that my tears could no longer be held back? They spilled onto my cheeks and spotted my shirt. Their standing touched my heart and created a longing so strong for the man in the white hearse we were following that my breath caught and hitched.
Mile after mile.
Leaving me remembering and missing.