Ever since seeing the Japanese film After Life a few years ago, some isolated moments of experience have become poignant reminders of the film.

These are iconic events that summarize even years of one’s life. Here are a few.

Five years ago: Pyper (our big Collie), Juimiin, and I, all lazily stretched out over our bed. The bed is not entirely big enough for three large mammals, so some appendages hang off; some overlap. But all three of us are content for a few minutes, some spring evening.

Two years ago, no again, two weeks ago: Just flying around in the airplane, marvelling that we can casually visit my parents hundreds of miles away, that it’s beautiful, that this activity managed to keep my mind sharp even as so many others were dulling.

Today: Juimiin just left for the evening to join her family’s Chinese New Year event, so I look after the last half-hour of Eric’s evening. I bathe the little guy, dress him, coo him toward drowsiness. I wonder how come he smiles so much when I smile at him. I recall how much he has learned to do over just the last two or three months, just about making up for his unpleasant first year. He rests his head on my thigh, and goes to sleep.