You should have been 16 today. You should have been.
I would, or I should, have given you a present today, for your 16th birthday. A very special one. Already a young woman, or very close to being one. My little one, mi babita.
But I cannot give you your present, because you are not here.
Yet here is your present, one you would have liked to see, without any doubt. A present we can share with whoever chooses to have a look here.
A few starfish. Like the one you and I found on the southern shores of Upolu barely 48 hours before the ocean rushed in and drowned you.
That starfish was dead. These were alive and happily greeted us from the shores of a beautiful lagoon in Vanuatu. I gathered them and put them all together – like a team! So I could take the picture for you, for your birthday. Can you see them, Clea? Can you see your birthday present? Aren’t they beautiful? Beautiful, like you were, like you would have been today.
Loveya, babita. Always.