Robin would have been 50 years old today. She was born in the Naval hospital at Oak Harbor, Washington at 5:25 A.M. weighing 6 lbs. 10 3/4 oz., and measuring 20 inches long. I miss her most of all when her boys do something wonderful (which is every day) and when I recall wonderful things she did. Today her ashes are buried beneath a marker in Coloma's Pioneer Cemetery next to the grave of her great-great-great-grandfather, Ezra Schooley. It's a beautiful place and although it's far from where I now live, I like knowing she is there. A few tokens surround her grave: photos of her boys, a butterfly, an angel, some coins, and an empty champagne bottle.
When I turned 50, Robin and Colleen threw a surprise birthday party for me. It was lovely: champagne, a string trio playing Mozart, 50 golden balloons, wonderful friends, and the early arrival of Colleen's third child, Danny, who was on his way home from the hospital at the time of my party. I wish I could do something like that for Robin (minus the new baby part).
We tried to celebrate Robin's birthday today. Colleen and Valery went to visit her grave and brought a bottle of champagne. Because Robin loved champagne, we have developed a ritual over the years of washing off her marker by pouring a bottle of bubbly over it. While Valery and Colleen performed the ceremony, I drank a glass of champagne and talked on the phone with them. I tried to evoke joyous memories, but it seemed contrived and I just felt too sad. I' m grateful to Valery and Colleen for carrying on the tradition and taking care of my dear Robin. Oh, my God, I miss her.