While she was thinking about dolls and sewing and pretending to be famous gymnasts with her sister, I was torn between enjoying her flitterings and mourning the fact that I’m not able to say goodbye to my cousin and waiting for updates about her steady decline. I worried I’d miss her party, or a service.
But my cousin held on and Tali had a lovely bday, complete with a slumber party where she awed me with a mature ability to be a great and gracious host to her friends.
And today, her actual birthday, brought me to tears. I’d found out that a woman I don’t even know, but followed and was inspired by on twitter–@whymommy–had succumbed to breast cancer and had heard that Suzanne was still declining and who knew how much longer she had. And then I arrived at the kids’ school and saw my dear friend Josh’s boys playing in the yard-and they seemed happy and I wondered if he knew that– and generally, the sadness of it all was totally overwhelming.
And then I walked into the school and heard Tali singing to someone playing the guitar. Her voice is still childish, but she sings loudly and powerfully. And she was singing Matisyahu’s One Day, which is soulful and almost more powerful coming from a child. And although Tali has always been an incredible gift, today she gave me another one in the form of seeing the beauty of life when things feel just painful and ridiculously hard.
Happy Birthday to my Tali B… Your strength and sensitivity are a gift to all of us who know you.