We are on Martha’s Vineyard, and today is Caitlin’s birthday. I’m reminded of another birthday of hers spent here, the year she turned 12. It was the terrible year of lung surgeries and months-long inpatient recoveries. But that summer, we received a two-week respite from the hospital, and the respite was spent here. Those weeks return to me in images that feel other-worldly, suspended in time, magical. Riding the Flying Horses carousel in Oak Bluffs, spending hours on State Beach reading The Stone Diaries, a book that would later become a lifelong favorite of Caitlin’s, buying boxes of Murdick’s Fudge. Hearing news of a bombing in Paris that shocked us and caused us to wonder whether life really did unfold for a reason.
Caitlin wrote about that year and its Paris connection in an essay when she was a college sophomore. I’ll let her take over:Continue reading “July 31 — A bomb in Paris triggered superstition, then acceptance of her situation. Words from Caitlin on her birthday 🌟”