I will sometimes take my dinner out to our park, sit on our wall and and eat, looking out over Lake Michigan at dusk. It's gorgeous.
This evening our building super, J-- was out on the beach with his 4-year-old grandson, who was making a project of digging a big hole in the sand and depositing all the large rocks he was scavenging from the beach.
J-- and I chatted brokenly (his English is serviceable, but not fluent). I asked about other grandkids, and he talked a bit about family. Then he said,
"June 28. My son die, two years. Thirty-five. Lung cancer. He no smoke."
I expressed my sympathy, and he told me how his son died four months after diagnosis. We resumed watching the little boy carrying rocks back and forth. The lake was a silver blue, and it was really peaceful. J-- looked at the little boy, then at me.
"My son. I really miss him."