We celebrated Papa's birthday this weekend. He would have been 74 on Sunday.
Blessed with unbelievably beautiful weather, we spent both days at local beaches, relaxing, reading, playing ball, refereeing the kind of time-outs that don't include balls, and just generally trying to keep the screaming to a mild roar.
Papa loved these days. He loved to be out in nature and he loved, loved, loved his grandchildren. (He also loved sausage so I made sure to serve that for dinner, Nana, was our guest.) It's a very sad thing to all of us that he is no longer able to join us, to share in the joy, and to see his grandkids play on the beach.
It still pains me that he's not here.
When driving out to our West Marin beach destination on Sunday, I realized we were returning to the same exact spot we'd discover with Papa, slightly over five years ago. How fitting! That fall day was a magical one - back when there were only two kids, and they didn't yet know how to fight, before either one had any shame in running naked, when perfection could be found in a simple baguette, filled with brie and salami, and when Papa was there to share it all.