The Fourth of July is just around the corner. It's a very special day for me, and not just because it's a holiday or the birth of our nation. It's the day Peter and I began dating, and as such, it had more meaning for both of us than even our wedding day. It was our beginning.
We met in college through a mutual friend. I was taking extra courses, and he was working on campus. A month after we started dating, he asked me to marry him, and I laughed. I didn't think he was serious, but he was.
You and me, under our tree where you carved our initials.
When Peter formally proposed, it was in a restaurant called Sign of the Dove in New York City. It's no longer there, and I don't remember much about the menu or what we ate. But I do remember how adorably agitated he became when the waiter interrupted just as he pulled the ring box from his pocket. And I remember the delicious loaf of olive bread that the waiter gave us as we left, as much an apology as a congratulatory offering.
Last year, after Peter's memorial service in midtown Manhattan, the girls and I lingered behind a few days in the city. It was the Fourth of July once again, and the first year that the grand Macy's fireworks show would be displayed over the Hudson River. I brought the girls up to the rooftop deck of our hotel where we could see a narrow patch of sky between the tall buildings. When the first firework boomed, hundreds of startled pigeons took flight into the sky. In the darkness, they looked like a flock of white doves, soaring and swerving overhead in graceful unison.