Dear Maya,

It will be your birthday soon.  Then October 2nd will come, inevitably it will come.  These days loom large for me. What will they bring, I wonder?

I am in the middle of a carefully planned trip, one intended to limit the reminders and triggers that are everywhere. And of course, there is no reprieve.  Whether it be the young girls hovering over their phones in the park, or the throw-away comment on suicide at tonight’s show, what happened is always present, just beneath the surface.  I realized tonight that we picked three very “safe” events to attend, and of course they were not completely “safe” any way. Best laid plans…

This is my new reality.

Maya, I thought of you today.  I was remembering the time at Minnewaska with the ducks.  When I found out that the ducks would eat bread off my feet.  And so I sat on the rock at our favorite family spot, bread stuck between my toes, getting a duck pedicure.  It was kind of creepy actually, and not good animal treatment I am sure, but I kept doing it because I loved watching your reaction.  It brought you joy, and me too. I am trying to keep those memories alive Maya, I am trying.  But it is such a challenge.

As I sat by the pool today, I was listening to a couple from Canada, speaking in French.  I smiled at another memory, of you and I goofing endlessly on the streets of Paris, making fun of everything in faux French accents.  And of the pigeons, the pigeons sitting on your head at Notre Dame. Sitting on your head and eating out of your palms.  You and I had the same silly streak, Maya. I miss seeing that now. Actually I missed it for a while before you left, as that silliness was gone for some time, or buried under something else.  I always told myself it would come back when you got through that “phase”.

Now my work is to keep that silly you with me, that funny, playful girl who stood by her ideals, who cared so much, who gave so much.  I sometimes don’t know how to do that Maya, I just miss you too much.  It was suggested to me that I need to build a new relationship with you. I get that, I do.  I just don’t yet see how; is it too soon perhaps, or just too raw, for something new to take root?  I do not know, Maya, but I do know that I want to grow something new, some new way of being with you.  Will you grow with me, again?

Love you and miss you,


3 thoughts on “Williamstown

  1. It’s already there, Mathew, already taken root. You just don’t know it yet.

    Remember the garden – how things grow – things you didn’t plant. They were planted there by some bird, on its way to somewhere else.

    You see, you don’t have to plant it, Mathew. Maya did – on her way to somewhere else

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