My head is so full of words. I practiced being a widow before I became one, but it wasn’t the same. The words keep me awake at night, along with the scheduling and figuring and calculating of each day. Then I can’t remember if I wrote it down. I get up to check. Is it on my phone? Did I tell the kids what tomorrow’s schedule would be? Every day I have to tell at least one person Melanoma Man is dead, usually five to seven people. Yesterday at Butter’s dentist appointment, his dentist remarked, “Hey Dad usually brings him, is everything ok?” I had called ahead to tell them, but the information hadn’t moved past the front desk. I went back to work too soon, last week, then crashed mentally and physically. I didn’t even work my full schedule. Going to church on Sunday was excruciating. I want to change services or churches. I want to change everything and nothing. Sunday was the longest day ever and I cannot believe we have to have a Sunday EVERY single week. It’s too much. Then there will be the time change, which I also think is ridiculous.
When we returned from our hurricane evacuation we were relieved that the house did not flood. I ‘m sure we owe it to this guy, Andy McCauslin. The house we rent has flooded at least three times in the last twenty five years according to neighbors. When the kids, Cha and I evacuated the day after Melanoma Man’s memorial I felt sure the house would not withstand the storm with our paltry two layers of sandbags and furniture up on cinder blocks. That it would be no match for Hurricane Matthew.
The power had been out so I needed to trash almost everything in the refrigerator. There were so many reminders of Melanoma Man in the fridge : olives of all kinds, New York Style potato salad from Publix. He was just here. He was just here, not long ago, less than three weeks ago.
It was hard having him be so sick. He was cheerful and sweet and scared that last week.He learned to move his wheelchair from room to room by taking the brakes off and walking it forward with his feet. He followed me from room to room until his last morning at home. We waited for the private ambulance to arrive to transfer him to the inpatient unit where I hoped they could control the pain. While we waited, he whispered to me, “I am crossing the river now Saire. I’m crossing the river.” It is the last thing he said to me that I understood. He tried to talk more but he couldn’t ever get enough air to finish a sentence. We had been preparing all week, reading from Crossing the Creek. He had me re-read chapters to him. It was strangely appealing to him. Strange because it was not at all an intellectual book. It was not his style. The appeal made me know he was experiencing it just as the book described, moving in and out of our earthly world and the world hereafter. I would ask him if he had seen his mother yet and he would become very quiet. I knew he had.