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  • Dear Margaret, well honey, tomorrow is your birthday. it doesn't seem like it was two years ago I was with you in LA and we were in this wonderful maelstrom of preparation for your birthday party. Mark's endless Cost Co runs, the rental company delivering the glasses and linens. Me hauling those goat legs all the way down from Jen and George's farm up here in Mendocino to slow roast in your honor. Remember how Shari and I cooked all day and then everyone arrived, everyone you knew and loved came. The house was filled to the brim with flowers and magnums of champagne and friends and family who came to celebrate you that day. I still laugh when I think of how Leo and Hugo and their pals ravaged the buffet table before your guests had arrived, how much they loved the goat meat, how we both threw up ours hands with surrender to that moment! We went to the wee hours didn't we. We were all spent and hung over the next day, but you glowed.
    I spoke to Mark this morning and we were both pretty messed up about having your birthday come with out you being here. He said, " Margaret would be 57", I said " Margaret will always be 55".
    I guess you probably know this but Hugo got a job making and delivering pizza. I joked with Mark that for all the pizza Hugo has eaten, pizza making must be in his dna... Mark said Hugo loves the work there and seems happy. Leo and Maddy went to the prom last night but I s'pose you've heard how he's been ditching school. I personally think he is going to be a jazz musician and what the heck does he need school for right? I know this is probably pissing you off anyway. He's a good guy Margaret. He was so young when you passed.
    I said to Mark that I felt like the boys had been through so much these past few years, with losing Mark's parents, then you getting sick, then you leaving and not too long after, their grandmother Muriel dying. All things considered Margaret, I think they are doing well and thriving. Leo is so tall and handsome,playing a lot of music. Hugo looks so much like you, more and more as he gets older. He and Henry came up last summer and I hated to see them leave. You know how I love him so.
    I miss you like crazy. Life is not the same without you. I am doing okay. I finally moved back into my bedroom this year. I painted it a lovely dark grey. I know you would love it. You would be proud of me. I know you were not at all okay with me sleeping in my office. Not to worry now sweetie... not to worry.
    I also built a brick oven outside this past year. That was when Hugo and Henry were here... they helped with the project. Right now my apple trees are in full bloom, I wish you could see them. Today the Spring winds are howling, blowing the blossoms all over the orchard, like snowflakes. I imagine you in this swirl of miracle and fragrance.

    Tomorrow I will play Van Morrison, Nina Simone and the Clash all day in your honor as i cook for my pop up dinner tomorrow night. I will make it with you in my heart. Give Muriel my love okay? Happy Birthday My Margaret . I love you. yr shanita
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