Today, my brother is 83. I can’t get to him because of the snow. He has serious dementia and will not know it is his birthday. I called Harbor House in Oyster Bay, N.Y. where he has been for the last 11 years and told them that, indeed, this was the day, but that I could not get there for the snow. I wanted to give him absolution again for whatever in this life, and I think he knows what I’m doing. If there is a spark of ex opera operantis, I want to get ex opera operato to him.