So fourteen-years ago tonight I turned thirty.
This was the restaurant.
I have the little nosegay bouquet I got that night from the waiter in a vase on my fireplace along with other meaningful dried bouquets.
The vase they are in is one I got from my dad.
It's one of the few gifts he ever actually shopped for himself so it's meaningful.
Understanding the never-ending needs of daughters, no matter how old they get, he usually just gave me money or Ann Taylor gift certificates. I was always appreciative.
Then one day, a few years after Paris, he helped me move as a newly single girl into the first house I ever owned by myself. His job was to transport my CLOTHES from point A to point B. He had a Ford Expedition at the time that was packed with nary an inch to spare with many a garment purchased with said gift certificates and at that time he said he was NEVER giving me another one.
The vase followed soon after as a sort of house warming gift.
More years passed and at one point the vase contained my dried bouquet from my second marriage, with the Paris nosegay added.
More years passed after Paris.
In 2010, I spent my birthday in Arcadia, Florida at a hospice house.
My dad was there after a long fight with cancer.
The sweet nurses had heard me say I liked red velvet cake a few days before and one of them baked one from scratch. My dad had said he liked German Chocolate, so another nurse baked one from scratch. They brought them in with candles and sang to me. So we ate homemade cake and watched videos he'd had made of slide photographs from the 1960's and 1970's. Just he and I and some cake and videos of him as young man with the world on a string.
And then I got a flower bouquet my husband had sent.
He'd remained at home to take care of my daughter.
I left the bouquet in my dad's hospice room.
It was an amazingly hearty bouquet.
It was by his bed, still lovely, when he passed away ten days later-March 31, 2010-Good Friday.
I took a flower from it when I left the hospice house for the last time with his things.
Today, my 30th in Paris seems like a lifetime ago.
A long way from Paris, but closer to home.
Less Angst, More Exaltation,