You left almost three months ago. Are you feeling better?

I have visited Europe twice this spring and will do so again in June. As I have planned each trip, I have had the frequent urge to call you up, to ask you where to eat when I am in such-and-such city, to ask you which museums I should visit if I have time. I want to hear your own stories of experiencing these places. But these questions go out into a void and will never return answered. I should have asked you more before you left.

When you were here I felt flustered and indignant when you obsessed over my travel plans. I wanted to be free to fall into whatever adventure opened up before me; I didn't want to have to plan every step. You gave me maps and rides to train stations and phone numbers for five different cab companies, "just in case." Only later did I understand that this was your way of loving me. I should have told you that.

You left almost three months ago, silently vacating this life in the space between one moment and the next. I did not tell you enough before you left. This weekend I will go to your house and sort through the relics of your life-well-lived. I will talk to you while I do so, though I don't know if you'll hear me. I will tell my friends about you, I will tell my future students about you, I will tell my children about you. Please, live on in the goals I pursue and the trips that I take and the objects with which I embellish my space. And please be there to hear all about it when I join you over the river.


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