Over and over again, I would run my finger along the strip right above his eyebrows across his forehead.

And he would close his eyes.

He’d always settle in.

He’d become absolutely motionless.

As a newborn, as a toddler—a young boy, a teen, a man. Countless times.

I ran my fingers through that curly, wild mop of hair.

I did this when he was sleepy and when he was sick and just anytime I could reach him.

It was a language we spoke.

I did this for the very last time, knowing it was the very last time.

Walking away and out was my silent, kicking-and-screaming torture.

His impossible stillness…

and my tectonic shift.