Sweet 16

This week Natasha would have turned 16.  It’s the eighth time we’ve celebrated her birthday without her.  Each year on Dec. 17 we host a group of her friends and their families at the local Chinese restaurant for dinner.  I look forward to these gatherings — even though they are bittersweet — because they give me an opportunity to picture Natasha at whatever age her friends are now, to see how they look and interact (with each other, their parents and other adults) and imagine Natasha at a similar stage.  Somehow in my mind’s eye she’s keeping up with them — and I believe she lives on in their hearts, as she does in mine. 


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