I was in the car on Presidents’ Day half listening to the radio. At the top of the hour the first story on the news was that George Washington would have been two hundred some years old today.
I don’t remember the exact number because I was already yelling at the radio.
“No he wouldn’t,” I said.
The radio ignored me and went on to the next story. I wasn’t through with my lecture and so I reached over and turned it down. If I came equipped with a volume knob the radio might have turned mine down as well.
“First of all,” I continued, “it’s not his birthday. We celebrate today because it’s a Monday between Lincoln and Washington’s birthday so he wouldn’t have been turning any age today.”
This first point was clear to me because Elena died on Washington’s birthday. She died on the date when her favorite president was born. The anniversary of her death doesn’t move around each year to suit a national holiday and neither does the actual anniversary of Washington’s birth.
This brought me to my second point.
“There’s no way that Washington would have been two hundred and anything today,” I glared through the radio at the newscaster. “People don’t live that long. Even if he hadn’t died when he did, he wasn’t going to make it to ONE hundred let alone TWO hundred. This might be the two hundred and some-th anniversary of the birth of Washington but he would never have been that old today.”
Sometimes when I’m ranting I make up words like “some-th”.
And so we come to today: the third of March, 2007.
Elena would have been eight years old today.
Elena should have been eight years old today — Elena will always be six. This is the second birthday that Elena didn’t celebrate. The second year that we didn’t give her a hug and ask “who’s the birthday girl?” The second year that Maggie didn’t peer over her shoulder while Elena opened up gifts and cards and coo “oooh, what did you get.”
For Elena’s birthday, please post a story of her. Share a memory. Paint a picture. Thank you.