Yesterday was the first day of spring. An entire winter season has passed since Munch2's passing on the first day of winter December 21st. Time marches quickly... March will soon slip into April. The days are not quite distinctly warmer -- it has been a warmer winter to begin with. The sky is still gray.
The Chinese have memorial days on the two equinoxes of the year where they visit the cemetery to pay their respects to their loved ones and have a picnic above their graves. My family held theirs on Sunday at the Forrest Hill Cemetery where my paternal grandfather Yung Chak Lee is located. It's nice that asians keep the dead in their lives, their ancestors in their minds. Typically we bring lots of Chinese dimsum and pastries, pork with crispy skins and sit and eat there. There are often many Chinese families there in the spring and fall as well visiting the grave sites of their loved ones. It's funny that even in the afterlife, there are still ethnic communities clustered together... a little Chinatown community for the dead.
It would be strange and sad to visit Munch2's grave in England some day... just a name on a stone and know that somewhere below, he sleeps forever under winter snows and all the seasons of the years. I haven't seen him since 2001 when he graduated... five years ago. I had hoped i would see him alive again. I think of a quote that I read somewhere as a child... "If we knew when and where would be the last time we would see a loved one again, our partings would be more dear" or something like that. The last time I remember saying goodbye to Munch2, we were on Main Street near Kendall Square MIT area. We held hands and I cried thinking when would be the last time I would see him again. I held his hands in my hands wet with tears for as long as I could while thinking of that quote. He seemed rather antsy, eager to start the next stage of his life that left this Cambridge behind. I watched him for as long as I could still see him... his bright copper hair fading into a dot around the bend and underneath the aisle of trees. Maybe there was another goodbye afterwards where I last touched him but this goodbye I remember best. I thought then maybe I'll see again in five years? Who knows? I didn't know for sure that moment would be the last time.
The crocuses should be out soon... I'll have to keep my eyes open for the signs of spring...