Only a week or two after he had led the family seder, heard his youngest grandchild sing Mah Nishtana for the first time, he was gone. Last week, reading The Fifth Passover Question: Who's Going to Lead The Seder? was sadly relevant.
Because it's a leap year, his first yahrzeit doesn't come until mid-May. So we are stuck with an awkward extra month, in which we haven't unveiled his headstone, in which we are still experiencing new "firsts" (the first family seder without him), but the secular calendar says a year has passed.
The apple and plum trees are blooming; I'm putting in new flowers and bushes in a corner of the yard where, 12 years ago, he and my brother-in-law dumped the excavated dirt from building the deck where my son now plays. He would have loved it - a new shady spot to sit and watch the kids play when the rest of the yard is hot in the summer sun.
We still miss you, Opa.