Letter # 4

Dear M,

It’s election day! Although I voted early so I wouldn’t have to worry about juggling everyone’s schedules today. It’s been 6 weeks since you were here, about the length of your longest business trip. When we first married and the boys were little you would be gone for 4-6 weeks at a time, with a 10 day visit home in between trips. I guess you could hardly call those business trips. Really your return home should be called home trips. So I am used to the rhythm of absence, but not this kind.

You would be excited today. The boys would be asking you lots of questions about the candidates, about previous presidents, about our political system. You would be reading articles to them from the Economist and maybe the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times. I have tried to fill in a bit, but in my own Laundry Thief way. Last night I read them an article by Celeste Headlee, How to Talk About Politics Constructively .I know many adults are exorcised by this election. The trickle down effect is that many kids are too and will be passionately and sometimes meanly expressing their views today. I want Butter and imac to be prepared to take the high road, to be listeners, to be humble and kind. Cha is missing you. I picked Butter up from school yesterday. As soon as he got in the car he asked me what day you were cremated. “Where are the ashes? Can I see them?” Moments after we walked in the house he said, “Ok mom I’m ready to see the ashes. They are inside a plastic bag, which is inside a labeled plastic box, which is inside a cardboard box, which is inside a shiny burgundy bag on a shelf in my closet. We got the bag down and Butter inspected the ashes, then put them back on the shelf in the closet. We turned the clocks back last Saturday. As a result Cha settles in to the house an hour earlier. I knew we had let him in. He wasn’t in your chair, not in Butter’s bed, nor on your side of our bed. I went to brush my teeth and saw him in the mirror, behind me, sleeping in our closet next to the Burgundy bag. He’s never slept in our closet before.





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