Off the Map

Above our kitchen table is a map of the world. I bought it when we lived in Bay Ridge Brooklyn and it had hung above our dining table there. We’d sit and eat breakfast or dinner and look at the map- all the different countries. We’d talk about places we wanted to visit.

The past year, I’ve used it to show Audrey where you were traveling. A week before you’d leave I’d start preparing her- telling her that appa had to take a plane again- and point to where you’d be going. She’d point too: “Pwane? Appa!”
She knows where Australia is and your last destination as well. And she knows where we live and points to the general area.
It’s hard to put your death- a concept she is incapable of understanding at this age according to what I’ve read- (and since I myself have not been able to grasp it yet- of course she can’t)- into the terms that an almost 2 year old knows.
But yesterday she pointed to our home on the map- “Mommy! Audey!” she said.
“Appa?” she asked.
Usually I tell her yes, this is appa’s home as well, but he’s just traveling.
But yesterday, I told her,
“Audrey- Appa’s off the map now. He’s not on our map anymore.”

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