When my grandfather and his twin sister receive the Happy Birthday song, they turn and look at each other. This year they turned ninety-two. I have never seen these birthday rituals, because every year my grandfather flies out to Western Canada to see Beryl and exchange this particular all-knowing, for-twins-only gaze. But when the ipads come out-- and oh, they come out-- the look turns forward. On the other end a grandchild.
The reason I saw these looks this time is because my grandfather had a small stroke earlier this year. So, while I was happy to see the birthday ritual, I wish he'd have been able to fly away to Canada as he loves to do. Looking out the window of a jet whose name he knows and I don't. Waiting to touch down in Saskatchewan so he can call us on the phone, while our birthday cards make their own journey to Falmouth, all of us moving through time and space at a speed we all still find breathtaking.