Eventually the day came when I could no longer wallow in my pain and accepted the undertaking of daily tasks - digesting food, dispensing toothpaste, inserting contacts, locating my natural part.
Lured by my 12 year old daughters longing for her brother, and the desperate need for her mother, I welcomed the morning light and stepped into a world that did not include my son.
Shopping is what every pre-teen wants on a sunny Saturday afternoon and so, concealed behind dark tinted Ray-Bans and a forced pearly white smile, we push our way through an ebb and flow of vacant faces, pausing long enough to pluck fashion “must haves” and push plastic at the cashier.
Nothing nothing feels right but none of this matters. “Wrap it up, it’s perfect, let’s go,” I affirm, as my daughter scoops up her tangible pleasures.
Near the bottom of main street shopping, is a tiny French restaurant called Meli-Melo. It is run by a lovely husband and wife duo; who, along with their two small children, relocated from Paris to Greenwich, Connecticut. We first met when their daughters enrolled in a neighboring dance school and I taught them the basics of ballet.
It’s always busy here and the seating is stiff and confined, but none of this matters because the bright, Parisian atmosphere, coupled with attentive service screams “happy.”
They serve delicious homemade soups, divine crepes, and flavorful sorbets. My favorite is a buckwheat crepe stuffed with ham, gruyere cheese, and asparagus – then topped with mixed greens and a fabulous champagne dressing. “Fancy Pancakes,” my son Kerry called them.
We are greeted with a genuine smile, a European kiss, and a warm hug.
“Bonjour, Miss Shannon. Bonjour Mademoiselle Lindsay. Look how you have grown, so beautiful,” marveled Annette, at the sight of my blooming daughter.
She escorts us to a corner table topped with fresh cut daffodils before adding, “and tell me, how is your son?”
My daughters relaxed stance stiffens in anticipation of my dark reply.
“He’s fine, thank you for asking,” I answer.
With the weight of Kerry’s death lifted, I return my focus to the child left behind.
Our mother and daughter date now restored, we joke about my lack of fashion sense, about her obsession with purses, and about our shared love of cheese.
It’s been 7 years since Kerrys death, but at Meli-Melo, he is alive and well.
I try not to give too much detail, only answering the questions plopped in front of me.
“Yes, he turned 30 this year.”
“Yes, we still work together.”
“Yes, he is a wonderful father.”
Kerry is thriving at the "Fancy Pancake Place," the place that screams “HAPPY.”