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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
It's your birthday, again. Except that it's not anymore. 'Happy Birthday', I think, but it's not really happy either, is it?
I texted your father to invite him to lunch - somewhere at a beach, or maybe that place with the snails near Girona - but he is offline, too.
It's hot again, another scorcher, and your daughter got up late (teenagers!) and I can't decide where to go, what to do. You always drove to those funky places out in the middle of nowhere; I've only found one again, and it was closed, shuttered up, abandoned.
What might we have done to celebrate your birthday? Maybe we would have gone to France, where your daughter wants to go to practice her French. But where, how? I haven't got the wherewithal to take her.
Remember how much our French sucked in Carcassonne? How the waiter spoke Spanish anyway so it really didn't matter? How we visited Machado's grave, saw all the bits of poetry and small tragedies people had left there, and thought how sad to be buried with your mother?
If I had let him, your father would have stuck your ashes in with your mother, in with her parents, in that pantheon to too little too late. One thing I do know is how much you don't belong there.
Where you belong is here.
Here, where I remain unable to grasp the idea of the world without you in it. Grief? Oh, yes, grief is a process - I learned that the hard way - and I've done all that, but this world still refuses to make sense without you.
So your birthday is still your birthday. We are going to find a cool, quiet place and order a meal you would have liked, and I will remember a new anecdote to relate. (I'm afraid that this year your daughter will roll her eyes. Teenagers!)
We might split one of those ice cream desserts you used to love. Because today will always be your birthday.
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GRASP (verb) 3 : to lay hold of with the mind : comprehend