Stephanie is here, sleeping beside me as I'm writing in the dark. We've been out all day, I took her to the Union Square holiday market, showed her what's left of Little Italy and followed her to St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth. She knows I'm not a believer, it's one of those things we never talk about because we don't need to.
People said the strangest things to me at the funeral and the weeks after, maybe they were trying to protect me. They were uncomfortable, I could tell even at that young age, all except those who knew exactly what to say to comfort me: the Lord works in mysterious ways.
I hated it more than anything, it felt like a violation, like trying to excuse the inexcusable and sometimes I wanted to scream. I've had enough of fairytales, I know that nothing lasts forever and it doesn't scare me anymore. I remember how he would sing to me whenever I couldn't sleep: Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try.