The Turn of a Doorknob

I’m sitting in the dark.

I’m sitting in a wonderful place – a place I love. No, it isn’t home, but it has that hearth-warm, glowing feel. When I am here, memories pour over me like surf on the sand nearby and make my heart smile.

And the sun is rising outside, pasting orange and gold on a singular blue backdrop. The pastel sky is cloudless thus far. I can hear the static pounding of waves just over the hum of the ceiling fan revolving haphazardly out of balance. I type. I’m on my second pot of coffee. I write stories in the growing light because I don’t sleep anymore.

I wait.

I wait to hear the doorknob turn.

Finally, the doorknob turns, the door creaks opens and I hear the slap of little, bare feet on the hard tile beating a cadence. The marching gets louder and louder until a sleepy-eyed beauty is beside my chair waiting patiently for me to move my laptop. When I do, she piles in with me, her soft hair nuzzled against the pocket of my neck. Even though she is getting big, she fits. She always fits. She fills the void perfectly.

She doesn’t talk. She just soaks up my presence, my hereness… our hereness.

I kiss her head while we snuggle. And the murky world outside with its pain and chaos fades away because I have this thing… this perfect thing – right here. Right here.


Only the doorknob doesn’t turn.

No matter how much I will it to turn and no matter how many times my brain hears the phantom click that marks its beginning, it never turns. Never.

I am alone.

And I sit typing, because I don’t sleep.

And the pain and chaos is inside – inside this room and inside of my weary mind because the doorknob never turns.

What I wouldn’t give to hear it click just one more time. Just one more time.


Just one more hug.

Just one more kiss.

Just one more smile.

Just one more I Love You.


I would mortgage everything for just one more. Only I can’t. I won’t hear the pounding of those little feet ever again, so I pound on this keyboard while a soft rain begins to fall outside my window.

And waves of memories hit me, engulf me, and then recede back with the tide. I reach for each one and beg them not to go. But no matter how tightly I hold my hands they slip through the cracks of my fingers. I build a castle with sand and make them my moat. We built sand castles together… here… back when it was good.

I remember how good. I remember she was here. Kylie was here – in this place.

And I love this place – even when it rains outside and even when it pours inside me. Because she is here. If I close my eyes and remember hard enough, I still can feel her hereness. Since I can’t have just one more, this will have to be enough.


And I will never stop listening for the turn of a doorknob.


Beach Kylie



Doorknob Photo Credit: Josh Vaughn via Flickr under the Creative Common License








10 thoughts on “The Turn of a Doorknob

  1. Tears and grief for your pain and that of your family is all I feel. I think of Kylie often and her comfort now. Then that reminds me, there is no lasting solace for the pain of her family…

  2. So bittersweet. So unfair. So amazingly beautiful to know the amount of love that Kylie knew here on earth from her earthly father and just to KNOW just how much her heavenly Father must love her now. At time in my life, I feel that I have experienced little snatches of heaven. It usually happens when I am able to forgive someone that I felt at the time reeeally did me wrong. To let go and just breathe and love again feels so amazing. Whether it is in a dream or an actual earthly act… it has filled me with so much joy. If only that offers a speck of comfort knowing that your sweet Kylie is in that constant joy now. No more pain or suffering or sorrow. And in time to know you will be together again. But you are doing amazing work here with your writing and so I have a feeling that God won’t be finished with you for a long time. I pray for you to get to feel glimpses of heavenly joy and a peace that surpasses all earthy understanding. God bless you Mark. I see your face often on my blog and I just wanted to thank you for your loyal reading. I am blessed every time that I come here and read your words.
    I pray for you and just wanted you to know.

    1. Thank you. I enjoy reading your blog, Diane. It speaks to me. And thank you for your prayers and kind words of encouragement. They mean a great deal. God bless.

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