That day from the moment he awoke beside me, I knew everything had changed.  Something in the way his eyes looked through me said, “Things will never be the same.”   There will be no more lazy days.

I could see in the determination on his face; there would be no more picnics under the Cottonwood.

No more secret meetings after the sun had set, when we watched the moonlight and the tree’s dancing shadows.

He didn’t twirl me around as he ran past; he didn’t even brush my hand.

Even so, I watched with pride as he stepped confidently into the sun.  I silently waved goodbye.

His mother put him on the school bus, and didn’t flinch until it pulled away.

She approached me tearfully; she gave me that last hug that he had neglected.

Then she set me high on the shelf, where I now watch over his days.