The miracle zinnia has died.
Andrew has returned to Oberlin.
Clare has left for her Big Adventure in the Northwest.
The zinnia had an incredibly long life — for a zinnia — so its demise doesn’t really bother me. Andrew’s permanent address continues to be the same as mine, and he can still legitimately call our house home. Clare, on the other hand, has moved out for good. She’ll probably continue to call Bethesda “home” for a while — I still sometimes say “I’m going home” when talking about visiting Elgin — but after a while this will be a place she once lived and where her mom and dad live.
I am truly grateful I had this summer with her (Andrew too, of course — but he’s not gone for good yet). I think we both were able to have some closure.
And no, I didn’t cry.