Letter # 8

Dear M,

Thanksgiving! I entered into this Thanksgiving thing with some trepidation, but we did it!!! Tomorrow it will be 2 months since you died. There is still so much I don’t have a handle on yet. It’s tricky balancing taking care of myself, and the kids (because we are all so needy) and getting things done. So I did not get the Christmas decorations up as planned. I am not sure why there is an expectation that the house will be fully decorated, by Sunday after Thanksgiving, but there seems to be one. I am making a new schedule for myself because sticking to the standard will make me grumpy. Grumpy moms at Christmas are no good for anyone.

I channeled you this weekend with the homework. I had been trying to get the kids to take ownership of their own school work on the weekends. Bad idea. Every Sunday night Butter has had a meltdown, surprised, shocked even that there was this or that assignment that he had NO IDEA about until now. Then imac and I would be treated to a long monologue about the unfairness of life, some door slamming, talk of never getting into college. No acknowledgement made during these monologues of the amount of time wasted on XBox. Have I told you how much I dislike the XBox?

This weekend I assigned reading for pleasure and I assigned spiritual reading.I assigned a minimum amount of homework time every day except Thanksgiving day. I assigned some fun things and I put some limits on gaming. At first of course it was NO FAIR, and I was UNPOPULAR, but now we are having a fairly peaceful Sunday night.

I am still amazed at how much energy and attention these two fellows need. Very similar to having toddlers and as emotional and illogical. I feel like I need to take two days off while they are at school to do nothing but sift through and act on the piles of papers. I can’t do that right now because I need to start accruing vacation time to be able to spend with them during the summer. So I am going to try getting up at 4:30 each morning this week. Sounds crazy right, but it is for the short-term. I did the 4 a.m. wake up during my one semester of grad school. It was ok for one semester, but it was not a longterm sustainable plan.

Another funny thing I have noticed since you died, lights flickering. The lights in our bedroom flicker when I walk in the room. The lights at Kristy’s house flicker when I walk into the kitchen. I feel like it is you saying hello. Lights have flickered other places too, but now I can’t remember where.

I went to the 9 a.m. service this morning, planning not to cry. I haven’t attended the 9 a.m. for about a month. It was your favorite service. Rick did the sermon. You would have loved it. He talked about times when the veil between this world and the next becomes thin so that we can briefly experience sights, sounds, and feelings that are not of our mortal world. He spoke of a being with a parishioner named Elizabeth a few hours before she died. She asked him,”Do you see it? Do you see it?” She pointed across the room. “It’s so beautiful, so so beautiful,” she said. I see it Elizabeth. I see it.

My tears came flowing. I remembered your last night at home. The paramedics arrived with the ambulance to transport you to the inpatient hospice unit. They were so sweet, so young, so earnest. You held my hand and told me, “I am crossing the river now Saire. I’m crossing the river.” It was time. I still miss you so much every day.