Misha and I got married on July 15, 2005 - and the last time I saw my father was on July 16, 2007.
July 15 is supposed to be a very happy day, and I was doing my best to feel happy yesterday, tried very hard to fend off the sadness, to postpone it for just one day.
Today, a swallow flew into one of our windows in the morning, crossed the room, nearly colliding with me, and flew out of the window on the other side of the room. It didn't seem to panic - maybe it wasn't the first for it here - and I thought it was a good sign, because birds are cool.
I went for a long walk in the afternoon, up a mostly narrow path high above the sea, where the hot air is filled with the amazing smell of rosemary and pine trees, and the views are incredible, and there are no people around.
The two-hour walk was both exhausting and invigorating. I wish I didn't hate hats and wore one on this walk. But I never do. That's my only regret.
I kept thinking about papa, about his long last walk somewhere in the forest and in the fields, in the summer heat, lost, four years ago.
I kept thinking of how good it was to know where I was and where I was going to and why, to know the way back, to know that Marta and Misha were waiting for me at the beach, to have my cell phone with me, just in case. It was good to remember that I had the keys to our apartment with me, and that I had to turn around and walk back eventually because of that. It was good to know exactly who I was, to remember my name, age and all, as well as today's date, despite some lightheadedness caused by the heat.
I felt grateful for all this routine knowledge that kept me safe during this walk.
And I hoped, the way I always do during my marathon walks, that my father was somehow there with me, in awe of all I was in awe of.