Midsummer Night's Walk

Tonight is the night when Scandinavians celebrate midsummer. If we lived in Norway my teenage daughter would have asked to walk (without us, but with her friends) about a mile to a bonfire with lots of other teenagers. About 11 she and her friends would have walked home and the older teens and young 20-somethings would continue celebrating the night with beer, wine and who knows what through the night.

Only once of twice have I ever celebrated midsummer. Once I walked the streets of Finland (I was 16) and it was the only night my host family didn't give me a curfew. I got to kiss a boy that I had a crush on, but left for home less than a week later... so they were bittersweet kisses.

Today I reflect on the fact that I am lucky to spend midsummer night healthy and happy with my two beautiful children.

Today I went for a walk in my old neighborhood with am former neighbor, IH. She is just as lovely as ever and it is always one of my biggest regrets that I couldn't stay in that neighborhood forever. But life brought us to Bridgewater and we are happy there too... and have made many beautiful friends there too.

On our walk she told me something very sad.

Eleven years ago we got new neighbors. Turns out the wife, Linda, was pregnant. She was due a few weeks after I was. But my husband ran into her husband at the hospital: she had a son the same day I had a son! We lived in the same duplex (a single family home divided in 2) and had sons born the same day. Linda was smart - she took a law degree almost totally on her own. After becoming a lawyer, in her 30s she became a judge.

Today I heard that she died. More than five years ago she got breast cancer. I heard she was cancer-free the last time I asked about her, but apparently it came back and this spring she died.

So today I'm grateful that my fate has kept me healthy. And I'm sad to hear the world has lost a talented woman and loving Mom. When I knew her she was a doting mom and a smart professional.

My neighborhood isn't going to be the same because from now on when I see my old house I'll realize that one of it's inhabitants is gone.

Rest in peace Linda. I wish we had kept in touch....


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