Happy Birthday, Elizabeth G.

With the birth of Elizabeth came many unexpected pleasures. All humans have the capacity to love unerringly their offspring, and a tiny explosion occurs at birth, filling up the mother with love and joy and sorrow and presence for the new baby. So it was on June 23, 1988. A hot day. Mayor Koch still in office. St. Vincent's Hospital still in business. Ronald Reagan finishing up his second term. Many others being born that day. But only one Elizabeth G. Aakre. She was two weeks early, and weighed a little over six pounds. My mother came to see her, held her in her arms, seemed very pleased to be carrying a newborn around the room.

When I got home, my sister Cindy came to visit. Soon we were off to northern Minnesota to spend the hot summer on Lake Pokegama with Richard's family.
Richard's father held her in his arms, and sang the Hi Diddly Didey Didey Do song.

It was an altogether blessed event.


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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