Letter # 12

Dear M,

Good news, Surf’s Up did the trick for getting to sleep. I was feeling a little dreary yesterday as you could probably tell from my letter. Just remember I always feel better after I write it down. My heart or my brain seem to have a calendar that keeps track of time always in the background. Today while filling out forms at the dermatologist I looked at the date and realized it is my 3 month widowversary today. Undoubtedly that was contributing to the darkness last night.

I was going to grocery shop tonight, but I am just not feeling it.  When imac was a baby, he and I would grocery shop early before I went to work. You were overseas. I can’t remember what time the grocery store opened, just that it was early.  

So I will try Surf’s up again tonight and see how it goes.

Love,

S

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Letter # 11

Dear M,

Letter # 10 is somewhere, saved as a draft, but I can’t find it right now, so I’ll start fresh. Cha has a cold. He has been sneezing for days, but seems to be eating and drinking well. I went to work today. Rose came to get the boys for an outing. Tomorrow they are going rock climbing with Miles at an indoor climbing gym. 

Things that are hard right now: leaving for work, coming home from work, opening mail and sleeping. Leaving for work is hard because it is Christmas break and I can’t spend it with the boys because I haven’t accrued enough leave since you died. It taps into my working mother guilt as well. Coming home from work is hard because you aren’t here. You always felt like home to me. Now our house doesn’t feel like home. It just feels like a to do list. The mail, lots of it is addressed to you. We got Christmas cards from people who don’t know that you are dead. Sleeping is hard because I can’t hear you breathing. I tried our nifty sharper image noisemaker with 25 different sounds. Last night I tried city which reminded me of our apartment in Tbilisi. We lived right next to a car wash. Tbilisi was a night time place, decidedly not a morning place. People took their cars to the car wash at 10 or 11 pm. So many nights I would briefly wake and ask,” Is it raining?” You patiently replied, “It’s the car wash, remember? We live next to a car wash.” I had high hopes for that overseas posting. It seemed like it was made for you. It all went South with the Georgian/Russian war. I was getting ready to take art classes. The kids were a few weeks from starting class at the international school. I felt strangely secure about our little plans which were as sturdy as a wet Kleenex. 

Tonight for my first hour at home there was the tacchycardia. This time I noticed it which is halfway to controlling it. I noticed the feelings, the emptiness of the house.  The boys were at Miles house. When they came home we watched the first episode of “This is Us.” You would have loved this show. I binge watched the whole first season on Friday and Saturday. Now I am watching it again with the boys. They love it too. The father’s optimism and playfulness remind me sometimes of you. It’s real life, real emotions, real joy, real pain. 

Tonight I am trying to decide between “Surf’s Up” and “rain.” I think I will start with surf’s up. It has a nice rhythm almost like an inhale and an exhale. I hope you had a good Christmas. I picture you with your cousin’s Charles, Roy and Jap, talking up a storm.
Love, 

S

Letter # 9

Dear M,

I haven’t written for a while because… Christmas. Also accidental dog sitting, work, chronic sinusitis, hypertension, exams for the boys, work conflicts, and not a lot of sleeping. The good news is that there will be presents for the kids. Thanks Amazon. You always did the shopping, with the exception of when we were living in DC. I would pick out presents from Tree Top Toys and we shopped together at Sullivan’s. Do you remember the year when we were living in Azerbaijan? You flew back to the states for 2 days just to see your dermatologist Gayle. You took an empty suitcase and returned with a suitcase full of toys from Tree Top. Ten days later you got a call from Gayle. It was your third or fourth melanoma and would need a wide local excision. I almost forgot that melanoma precipitated our trip to Dubai. We made a vacation of it, with our first visit to a water park, Wild Wadi,  with the boys. They still wore floaties then. At the end of the trip you had your wide local excision at the American Hospital in Dubai. I had completely blocked the melanoma part of that memory out until now. It was with us always. Looking back I am amazed at all we did while it haunted us from just three days after our engagement until the end eighteen and a half years later.

So Christmas is not coming easy to me this year. I called Diane to come over to inspire me to put the tree up. I put the tree up and got the lights on while she was here. Later in the week Sara G put the ornaments on. I’ve left it at that. I’m not sending out any Christmas cards this year because all I can think to say is: 2016-M died. That generally doesn’t go on a Christmas card so rather than fight to be cheery I gave myself the year off. Who knows, maybe my Christmas card sending days are over. I do fight to be cheery pretty much every Monday through Friday. I am fairly successful at it. Saturdays though I am all out. I have taken the day off tomorrow to give me a four day weekend. We will go to the Christmas Eve service and then out for pizza as has been our tradition since 2006.

Rose took the boys to see the new Star Wars movie today while I was at work. That is just what you would have done with them on their first day of winter break. 

Work is just too workish and bores me out of my mind. I spend about 15 hours a week in the car going to and from work and about 43 hours at work. Life is too short for all that unless the work is just mind blowing, which it is not. One of my projects for the new year is to find work that means something to me and pays as well as my current job. I could make a move to one of the other divisions within the organization or jump ship completely. Another project for this year is regaining my health, losing the weight I gained eating nervously the last 6 months of your life, lowering my blood pressure, and getting a grip on the chronic sinusitis. I am on my third ENT. I am calling him the tie breaker. The first one proposed a fairly radical surgical procedure. The second proposed physical therapy to address the pain, but no treatment for the underlying problems. Number three has proposed three medical treatments that we can use sequentially. If they all fail and the CTscan doesn’t look good then we go to surgery. I like him. He is an organized thinker.

Sorry to be a bit gloomy. If it’s any consolation, I feel better having gotten it down in print.

Love you lots and missing you,

S