Tomorrow, Daniel will have been gone from Earth for six years. He departed on Black Friday, and this year, Thanksgiving falls on the 27th and Black Friday, once again on the 28th, just as it did on the year of his departure. These subtleties are not lost on me, and I am afraid that I might never cease to notice these.
Like most families, Daniel and our other children had routines. We had things we liked to do regularly, and we had regular outings. When our two eldest went to college, Daniel and his older brother Matthew and I continued to home school. We also had a number of diversionary activities which kept our lives busy. Weekly, I would take both boys into town to the library where their own laptops could access the super fast internet connection. They would do some schoolwork and research there, but I was fairly well aware that most of the several hours a week there was spent internet gaming. They loved being dropped off there, and I used the several hours to run errands, fill prescriptions, pick up dry cleaning and alterations, and get to the bank. When I picked them up Daniel especially wanted to go to the music cafe. The music cafe was a business created by a young man who had graduated from the music school at the university in Richmond. He found a way to combine his love of music, of business and of food in one endeavor. The music cafe is a lovely rustic cafe which has a stage. It provides great coffee and tea, breakfast, lunch, and a light dinner. Several nights a week both local and some big names perform in the fairly intimate venue. The back of the structure provides music lessons by the owner and other seasoned performers and could actually be used as rehearsal or recording space. One can also buy guitars, guitar strings and other musical goods.
|This is the owner and his family. They were kind to us when Daniel passed.|
Daniel especially, used to love to go to this cafe for a soda and a brownie after the library. Occasionally we would have a meal there. The owner has a lovely young family who would often be in the cafe from time to time. Of course, now that Daniel is gone, I wish I had taken him there more often and sprung for the meals rather than just allowed this place to be a treat station with music.
This year I read in the local paper that after eight busy years, the music cafe has closed. It remains intact and up for sale. Daniel would be most unhappy about this, if he remained here on Earth. My hope is that even in such a difficult economy someone else decides to take over and keep this point of light and of music open for other families.
It seems sometimes that as each year passes since Daniel's departure that more and more things he cared about seem to depart or evaporate one by one. The music cafe was something I had hoped would remain here for a long time.
Daniel would want me to say, Happy Thanksgiving.
Update: Just shortly after their closing, a new group took over and reopened the music cafe. They have revamped the menu and have a different vision. My hope is that this wonderful place survives and thrives, almost as if Daniel could visit when on furlough.