Monday, October 17, 2016

An Annual Sadness

Tonight, my daughter wanted to read her Atlas book. She loves the volcano picture so we started reading about South East Asia. That led us to looking at pictures of my wife and me in Thailand and Cambodia. Out of the thousands of photos on my phone and FB, she stumbled onto this one and wouldn't move on.

"There's fire on this, Papa."

"Yeah. You're right."


"Well, it's a temple that's built every year so they can burn it."

"But why?"

"It's a ritual," I say, holding back the flood of emotions that photo always brings. "They build it, and people visit it. They pray, and think about people they love, and write messages to their friends and family that aren't with them anymore. Then they burn it in a beautiful ceremony with tens of thousands of people watching, and everyone says goodbye."

::Long silence::

"Are you crying, Papa?"

"Yeah, sweetie."

"Why are you sad?"

"Because this picture is the day I said goodbye to my bestie."


"Because he died. Do you get sad when you can't see your bestie?"

"I'm sad because I want her here right now!"

::laughing:: "I know, sweetie. I'm sad because tomorrow is my bestie's birthday and I don't get to see him anymore."

There's a pause and I quietly weep, waiting for the next "Why?" Instead, she kisses me on the forehead.

"I'm sorry, Papa."


Happy Birthday, Matt. We miss you.

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