Yesterday my daughter and son-in-law closed on their new house in Lakewood, a Cleveland neighborhood not too far from the lake. Lake Erie, that is, the shallowest of the inland freshwater oceans in this part of the country. Their realtor gave them a congratulatory bouquet of flowers which they brought to me last night when we went out for dinner. Since they won’t be living comfortably either in their current apartment or in their new home for a while yet, I am the lucky recipient.

The luscious Easter and calla lilies, and fuschia zinnias are standing on the bureau in my room beneath the photo of Richard on the wall. It is the same picture we had in front of the sign-in book at his memorial, the same one of him that I use on my screensaver. Because it is his birthday coming up it feels more like the flowers are for him. The dual purpose floral arrangement is fitting as he and I helped a little to fund this house that will also become the family home for me and Marion at holiday time.

He will never turn 68 years old. My brain still has difficulty processing this obvious fact. Sunday marks his birth all those years ago, and I am unclear how to hold what used to be another appointed date for us to celebrate him. It will be day for me to do that in his absence. Against the sorrow of my personal loss and the enormous continuing loss of our country as we knew it, I do celebrate whole heartedly, the fact Emilia and Zoran have bought their first home. It was a joy for Richard to know they had been searching for a house before he died. He would have been overjoyed and right in there with suggestions for them on how to fix it up to their liking and how best to maintain it.


I woke up with these words this morning:

For Richard

Kendal Birthdays

This is his first not birthday

A day I never imagined

Has arrived

Not a dearth of imagination

But a surfeit of love that blinds

The inevitable as impossible

The day that mortality

Counts coup in passing through

Time and space

He no longer inhabits

I do


The bed I wake up in

Could be anywhere

But it is from here

I will continue lose him

To gain the unimaginable

Not a dearth of imagination

But a surfeit of Love

Opens my eyes

Beyond time and space

Death has no birthdays

The red wing blackbirds

Shrill by the pond

My new home

One thought on “Kendal Birthday

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