Today is the 4th anniversary of my husband's death.
Natalie was born at exactly 3 a.m. in a miraculous birth (especially for a first child)
that took only three hours. She weighed exactly 7 pounds.
She is a wonderful, sweet, kind, funny, beautiful, easy, insightful child.
I feel really lucky to have her in my life.
Ken died at about 6 in the morning in a hospital room down the road from our house.
I wasn't there. I'll always feel sad about that.
On that day, his death felt like an enormous defeat.
He had fought tremendously long and hard to live,
With optimism. With strength.
Four years ago Natalie walked downstairs on the morning of her birthday.
Alec, who was six, said: "Dad's dead."
Still, the house was filled with balloons.
Friends came over.
We went to a bowling alley.
The girls were treated to manicures and pedicures.
They slept over.
It was a real birthday party for a real girl whose father had died that day
When she turned ten.
Today, I woke up in my bed. It was just after 3 a.m. (the time that Natalie was born)
All the lights were still on in the house.
This used to happen all the time in the months just after Ken died.
I would fall asleep earlier than usual,
Then wake up in the middle of the night.
The lights would all be on, the dishes undone, my clothes still on.
I'd clean things up, maybe write an e-mail,
Go back to bed.
Just like then, here I was in the middle of the night
Fourteen years almost to the minute after Natalie's birth,
Four years almost to the hour after Ken's death.
Wide awake alone in this moment.
I cleaned up. Turned off the lights.
Went to the computer.
A chat box popped up.
It was my niece Anna who is living in Korea for the year.
While Ken was having cancer treatment in Texas 4 years ago
Anna had just graduated from college.
She agreed that her first "job" would be
Being my kid's mother, while I spent time in Texas where Ken was hospitalized.
That was our arrangement for six months.
I don't know what we would have done without her.
I liked last night. Waking up just at the time that Natalie was born.
The lights blazing, the house chaotic, like it was in the days and months following Ken's death.
With Anna there to chat with me.
I thought she was far away. But there she was.
I felt it.
All in one day.
Happy Birthday Natalie!!
Ken, we made one beautiful girl.