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The 35th Anniversary

I took a quiet moment tonight in my mum’s prayer room- away from the hustle of cars on the main road in front of my house. Away from my sleeping daughter who slumbered in the room next door. Away from my husband who was out celebrating a friend’s birthday.

I lit candles and the room filled with a pleasing scent of caramel roses. I lit incense sticks- they smelled of lovely lavender, and in a few minutes, the entire room was enveloped with the smell of all things wonderful and sweet. I turned down the volume of the portable Buddhist chant player on the altar (it has never been turned off from the day my mother brought it back from Thailand, and sometimes, in the still of the night, I can hear the faint Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato chants creeping softly under my door, filling me with a sense of peace and harmony).

I took his beautifully framed picture, touched my fingers to the cool glass softly, pressed a kiss onto his cheek. I talked to him as if things had never changed. I cried a little, of course I did- I’m such a softie, really. I wished him Happy Anniversary. I spoke to him about life without him. About how well I was coping, and how everyone was getting along.

For long minutes, I felt truly and completely happy because I knew he could hear me. I felt a faint caress across my cheek, so light that I thought I must’ve imagined it. Perhaps I did. Or perhaps he came to me. To tell me he was alright too. I fervently wished it was him. Sometimes when I step out into the cool night to look at the stars after my daughter has gone to bed, I always find a brilliant one, standing out in the darkened sky, twinkling like it had no other cares in the world. And that is when I know he is watching from above. I am a lucky girl. Who else has a star watching over her?

There is no place in the world I would rather have been then. Just sitting in that room, knowing and feeling, at the same time, all the beautiful and ugly things of the universe coming at me, assailing my senses and teaching me how to live each day.

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