Letter # 2

Dear M,

I have been avoiding you all weekend and then I saw one of your hats in the van, which I still think of as your car. So I decided it might be time to write. It was a good weekend. I do kind of dread the weekends. Butter dreads after school time, but it’s getting better. You would have been proud of them both this weekend. Butter is now scuba certified. iMac performed with the Ocean of Sound on Saturday at the Music Performance Assessment. They received a Superior rating for the first time in the history of their band. They both did their homework tonight without protest or drama. Their report cards were good too, which is a miracle given the missed school days when you died and the all consuming nature of losing you just four weeks ago.

I sent Maya Angelou’s poem, When Great Trees Fall, to our dear friend Sophie in the Republic of Georgia. She had written to say she had been meaning to write, but just couldn’t. It was as if acknowledging your death in writing would make it real. I understood. I re read the poem myself and was struck,as I am every time I read it, by how accurately it captures the experience of being left behind by death. Remember I read it at my Dad’s memorial? I wore that same dress to your memorial too, my funeral dress.

Midday I have was in the garage going through old toys to give to the Salvation Army. It was hard to put those Playmobil sets in the bag today. We are getting ready for something new, or rather someone new, our dog. I’ve told the boys that dogs are like toddlers at first so we must baby proof. This having something to look forward to makes the clearing out easier. I was thinking about putting my pajamas on and staying in all day. I had already done a couple of loads of laundry, been on a walk, done dishes, so why not? Just then MK sent me a text about a car wash fundraiser for the school solar club. That text is what got me out of the house, with the car loaded up with bags of books and toys, I stopped at the ATM and gas station on my way to the car wash. I even thought to bring my grocery list and went to the store. I made some cards yesterday too. I was so relieved to read Alain Botton’s article in the NYT today, entitled Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person. Relieved because we all marry the wrong person, merely by thinking and expecting that there is a right one. During your eulogy, Joel said these words “Most of all M came to compete.” It was a light bulb moment for me. I wished he had told me sooner, like on our wedding day, not that I would have known what to do with that information at the time. We were such opposites. I came to love. I never understood that your competitive drive had a life of its own, and never saw it for what it was. Our marriage made me braver or rather gave me the opportunity to exercise the brave that had been ther all along. Marriage also wore me out, the “for worse” part so much easier said than done. I underestimated the impact that both of your illnesses alpha 1 anti trypsin deficiency and metastatic melanoma would have on me. It was brutal. I stayed the course. I hope you can see that we are all here doing a darn good job with life.



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