Though it's miserably cold and rainy again, last week was so warm and sunny we could watch spring arrive like a time-lapse film, each new bud, flower, and leaf appearing, and then moving right to the next stage, even as we paused to appreciate it. This morning I saw a dogwood tree just opened into flower, the notched petals still curling in, barely greenish. Of course dogwood makes me think of L. It was her favorite flower, her wedding band a circlet of blossoms. And thinking of L made me realize it was 24 years ago that she died, some time in these few weeks, maybe these few days. I remember it was Passover. I was home from college and I went to the hospital to say goodbye, and I told my dad he had to go to the hospital to say goodbye. Then I went back to college, and then she died, and I came back home for the funeral.
L's death is one of the few things in my personal life (let's leave out the war, etc.) about which I can say: if this hadn't happened it would be better. Period. My parent's divorce? Worked out for the best for everyone. Professional choices I've made and regretted? Made me a better person, made other parts of my life possible, and laid the groundwork for better things to come. But L's death? Completely irredeemable. And made everything completely different. Like this weekend. If L were alive, my weekend would have been different. Of course now it's been so long, and so much has unfolded, that to think of L not having died would mean, for instance, to think, probably, of her grandchildren, these particular grandchildren, not having been born, which is, of course, unthinkable, now that they are here and delightful and part of our existence. Still, if I could wish one thing different (again, putting aside the war, etc.) it would be for L not to have died.