Even though I was sick and exhausted, the days leading up to the Fair, the day of the Fair and the couple of days that followed it, were blissful.
The relentless sorrow and the inability to accept that Andrew is gone, receded for a while.
Yesterday I was busy writing thanks yous, post-event media follow-up, stocking up the fridge again, making the chicken soup I would have liked when I was sick, and it wasn’t until the evening that I stopped and looked back to this time last year.
I don’t have many days left of Andrew being alive this time last year. Come November 3rd. Andrew will have been gone a whole year.
But last night Andrew was still here this time last year, and a year ago yesterday…
Even the West side Highway, the only way into the city as far as I am concerned, was heavy with traffic.
“What’s going on?” I wondered out loud.
“Obama is in town,” Hugh explained. “He’s going to the UN.”
“We are going to be late,” I worried. “We are supposed to pick up Frank in Union Square at twelve, then Andrew from his Coral Towers dorm, then Florentina from her office and be at the Tribeca Rooftop for 12:30. But it is already 11:45,” I continued, glancing at the car clock. “At this rate we are not going to be able to pick them up and be at restaurant in time. And if we are late the tasting will start late and Andrew won’t be able to stay because his Chinese class starts at two.”
“Do you have Frank’s number?”
“Not on me… I’ll call Florentina and ask her to get Frank and Andrew to meet her at her office and take a cab together to the Tribeca Rooftop. That way we can drive straight there, we’ll all be on time and Andrew will be able to be with us and still make it to his class on time.”
But I got Florentina’s voice mail and I remembered that she had told me she was going to be in a meeting until about 12. I’ll call Andrew, thought, he’s bound to have Frank’s number.
“Tigger? Hi Tigger it’s Mummy, listen there is a lot of traffic and if we come and get you guys first we are going to be so late that you won’t be able to stay. So I was thinking that if you, Frank and Nanny get a taxi and meet us there, we’ll still be able to start on time, and Daddy will drive you to your class afterwards. Can you call Frank and ask him to go Florentina’s office and you can all get a taxi from there?”
“I don’t have Frank’s number, Florentina has it.”
“You don’t have it either? I tried calling Florentina but she is in a meeting until twelve and I got her voice mail. In the meantime Frank is already in Union Square waiting for us to pick him up. What shall we do?”
“I’ll run to Florentina’s office, get Frank’s number and call him,” Andrew said, his voice picking up speed and I sensed that he was already on his way out the door.
We arrived at the Tribeca Rooftop bang on 12:30 and the children were right behind us. When I saw them, my heart fluttered and I broke into a happy smile. No matter how often I was lucky enough to see my children, I felt joy every time. How gorgeous and well-groomed they looked, Florentina in her professional yet soft looking office clothes, and Andrew in a suit and tie and with his long and lustrous hair in a neat and tidy pony tail. Not even trying to check my pride, I introduced them to the others meeting us there and within minutes we were sitting at the table.
What we were doing that day, was selecting the menu for the Windflower Ball, the fundraiser I started in 1998 to raise money for SIDS. The event, now called “First Candle Charity Ball,” was coming up in four weeks, on October 24th.
Florentina and I tasted the fish dishes, while Andrew and Frank got busy with fillet mignon and rack of lamb.
By the time the chocolate mousse and tart tatin came and went, it was time to for Hugh to drive Andrew to his class and Florentina back to her office while Frank and I stayed behind and he gave me his technical advise about the blog (this one) that I wanted to start.
I felt good. I was in such a constant state of smiling that my jaws ached.
And now I can’t stop crying and I feel such pain in my heart that I think it’s going to break and I am going to die… if only…
Oh Tigger, if only it was traffic that stood between us…what can I do to see you again?