At a Conference letter

Dear M,

I am in Fort Lauderdale at a medical conference, thanks to the generosity of your cousin Mary Mac. Mary Mac and her dog are taking care of the boys, Cha and Murphy. I slept a full 9 hours last night! Took an uninterrupted bath, read, walked on the beach.

Just now I watched Lucy Kalanthi’s YouTube talk. Before you died I read her husband’s book, When Breath Becomes Air . They made a promise to each other to say what they were thinking out loud. It’s a noble idea, but it didn’t work for us. I would have stolen moments of peace and joy from you if I had expressed my thoughts and feelings outloud. That’s how my blog evolved. The reality of your illness was brutal. If you didn’t see or feel the brutality of it, I didn’t want to be the one to point it out. It would have been to wake the sleeping before they’d had enough rest. 

Tomorrow is the last day of school. Tonight the Court of Honor for Boy Scouts. Butter has called me a few times as he prepares. He’s mad about the linens in his closet because it is the fault of the linens, placed there by his mother, that he could not find his merit badge sash. He did find it while we were on the phone. Really he is missing you and now me too. I cried last year during the May Court of Honor because they presented you with an award. You were at home on the sofa. You sent me in your place because your words were all mixed up. You felt self conscious and didn’t want the scouts to see you without your words. They spoke about you returning when you were better. I knew that you never would be. I’m grateful that Mary Mac is there tonight with Butter, though I know he wishes that you and I were there together.

You would love this hotel. It makes me feel like I have dropped into another era. I’m not sure whether I am in the 1930’s or the 1950’s. More later.
Love,

S

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Anniversary Letter

Dear M,

May 9:

Happy Anniversary! Nineteen years today. I thought I might feel sad so I preemptively purchased flowers at Publix last night and cleaned the kitchen. Orange, yellow, green, and pink beautiful grocery store flowers in a blue vase greeted me this morning. I also set the coffee maker for 5 a.m, the same time we usually sat on the couch drinking coffee and talking before the kids got up. 

May 15:

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. The boys went all out. Murphy slept in Butter’s room so I could sleep in. Murphy awoke at her usual time 4:15 a.m. Butter took her out in the yard to play for an hour so she wouldn’t wake me. I woke up at 5:45 a.m. The boys brought me coffee and oatmeal in bed.

May 18

Wow! Our last middle school band concert. Both our boys in high school in the fall. Can you believe it? They are going to make their second solo trip to see Bolly and Mob when school gets out. Miss Murphy was up in the night vomiting. It looked like she had eaten her fair share of Kleenex yesterday. Mary Mac is coming to visit Sunday. She’s helping out with the boys while I attend a hemophilia conference. That’s all for now. Wish you were here.

XO

S

A letter about letters

Dear M,

Today I received a nice letter from DuBoff, as you called him. He told stories of you at the Federal Energy Regulatory Comission in the mid 70’s wearing Adidas sneakers with your suit and tie, lots of nice stories. The boys will enjoy these immensely. A story of single you, sitting on the floor playing with the two eldest DuBoff children during a baby shower for number three or four of the DuBoff boys. 

Last night imac and I attended the 2017 Band Banquet. I sat with MK of course. The dinner was better than most, on schedule and with good food. IMac was welcomed into the room by a table of girls calling his name to come sit with them. He was the center of attention at the flute table as the only male. He was surprised and pleased to win an award. He will play in the upper band during his senior year. Things are looking up. Today he asked to meet with me to discuss his Eagle project!! This is akin to eating asparagus, something he had previously avoided. The door from the garage into the house has been opening by itself all week. You never used the front door, even after the faulty handle was replaced. You always came in through the garage. I think of you each time I see it open “by itself.”

I thought of you last night too, of last year’s band banquet. You had independently scheduled your outpatient surgery to have your feeding tube removed and then you were chagrined to find that they wouldn’t let you take a taxi home post-op. It was your “Fuck you” to me about the car keys. You called MK to pick you up. Your head was still shaved in the locations of your two brain surgeries just a few weeks before. We carried on. And still I carry on.
Love,

S