Back to School

The routines are familiar, but it is still rough terrain, this land without Elizabeth.
She would have done something for her father's birthday, she would have been working somewhere, or in graduate school. In her eighteen years, she was always a student, with her notebooks neatly labelled, and her array of pens. On her laptop were stickers.

 Since I work as a teaching librarian, I keep walking, keep going to school. Most days it is all right, just a slight hitch in my step. Children keep getting born, learning to walk, going to school, looking forward to those early days of making new friends, cementing the old ones.
Elizabeth Kester and Elizabeth Aakre

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How Dina Aunty relished her memories. Mummy and Daddy were the same, talking about their yesterdays and smiling in that sad-happy way while selecting each picture, each frame from the past, examining it lovingly before it vanished again in the mist. But nobody ever forgot anything, not really, though sometimes they pretended, when it suited them. Memories were permanent. Sorrowful ones remained sad even with the passing of time, yet happy ones could never be re-created—not with the same joy. Remembering bred its own peculiar sorrow. It seemed so unfair: that time should render both sadness and happiness into a source of pain.

> From A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry