She chose the dress. She got the flowers. It was a special day.
For the first time in months she was going to visit her mum and dad.
There was hugging and food and giggling with the auntie, and then they all headed off. They wrapped up warm, and squashed into the car.
She touched up her lipstick on the way.
As if they were actually there.
As if she could hold them, or feel their warmth.
But they are long gone, and know nothing of the lipstick, the wintry wreath or the stones she has carried faithfully from the beach.
Back in the car, heat made its way back into their bones and they told tales of the parents. Gone too soon, but gone. Living on in us.