It’s a Christmas tradition, of sorts. When I was pregnant with Anja, R and I went Christmas shopping at Granville Island on a dark, rainy afternoon. We bought a puppet tent for E, picturing her and her sister playing in it together, putting on puppet shows, making a home in it for their dollies. We stopped in at a place we particularly like and R had a beer and I had a hot chocolate with heaps of whipped cream and we felt festive and talked about the future, the future that we assumed Anja would be part of, because why wouldn’t we? Now, we go back each year. We shop and then we go to the same restaurant, sit, if we can, in the same spot, and remember. And I cry. Today it was hard not to sob. It’s been so long. Nearly three years, and I don’t cry that often anymore. I don’t cry as much as I want to. I missed you today, my girl. I miss you every day, but I missed you so much today, walking around the kids’ market, remarking on things that E would love, that M would love. And what would you love, my love? What would be on your list this year? You would be nearly three. Your sister was three the year we picked out the tent. That is a quiet fact that rips at me right now. Three and three and E is turning six and has lived half her life without you. She’s a big girl now. A big girl with a big place in her heart reserved for you, the girl who never gets big. I love you, sweet thing. I love you.