My friend Mayu’s 12-year-old dog died yesterday. She was very sad that night at dinner. We ate ramen like we do every Tuesday and this week we got to talking about death and loss (my favorite dinner conversation, as many of you know). She said her dad is already looking at a few puppies. “Few puppies?” She asked me to correct her pronunciation. She was right. It's a funny sound. Few puppies.
She asked if we really buried our dead people. I said sometimes. And she said, “Do you think that they will come back to life or something?” I said maybe. It is a pretty interesting aspect of our culture, I guess. In Japan they always cremate.
I am 24 today. About One fourth done for sure. It’s been a great 24 years. I’ve met lots of people, I’ve seen many dreams. I’ve had lots of experiences; I’ve felt many feelings. I’ve discovered meditation, music, drawing, friendship, yoga, the beauty of nature, and have found more love than I know what to do with. Today I’m healthy and happy, full of friendships and fallouts and family. Its has been a miraculous 24 years—years that I did not ask for. They were just given to me for some unknown reason. And without asking I’ll probably be given plenty more.
And my last grandmother sang me happy birthday over the Internet a few days ago from her deathbed. She used to be a music teacher, and her strong singing voice was reduced to a quiet, airy whisper, but I could still hear that distant angel I have been listening to ever since I was born.
And to think of all the times she has sung that song.
And her last was probably my 24th.
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