Thursday, March 31, 2011

Night Terrors

Audrey had started having night terrors a few months before you left.  At first we were so confused, but after doing some reading, I learned about them.  She'd basically be half asleep, but awaken in this dream-like state screaming in this horrifying way and completely unreachable.  She would bat me away not understanding that it was me.  The choice would be to either wake her up somehow or not respond in the first place.  Having had some of these when I was younger, I wanted to wake her.  Sometimes taking her into the kitchen, turning on the lights, and opening the cold refrigerator would do the trick.  Immediately, once she's awake, she sits on my lap looking a bit dumbfounded and exhausted and will happily go back to her bed and sleep.

When you left, I was worried that she might have one of these while you were gone.  They're quite scary to deal with in the middle of the night alone because one feels so helpless when your child is screaming uncontrollably and not really awake.  It had brought me to tears in the past.

I think she had one or two of these night terrors since you left, (you never did return) but it's been months.

Well of course she had to have one the first night your parents were staying over.  She woke up with that blood curdling scream.  At first unaware that this was a night terror, I tell her, it's OK- mommy's right here- you can go back to sleep.  But I quickly find out she is not awake.  Her eyes are mostly shut as she screams.  I turn on the light.  She writhes in my arms screaming for ...me.   My mother in law cracks open the door and comes in trying to comfort her.  I hold her helplessly explaining that she isn't awake.

It took a good 30 minutes for me to get through to Audrey.  I finally did by telling her I'd just seen the moon outside and spoken to him.  It caught her attention and she stopped screaming and came to.  Then I sang a song about it as I rocked her back and forth.  She was back. She willingly went back to sleep.

My mother in law comments on how scared she was and how she's never seen anything like it.

The next day we stop at Whole Foods for flowers and my dad drives us, along with a friend of mine, to your grave, while my mom watches Audrey.  Audrey seems shocked when we are all leaving- and I know she senses we are not going somewhere fun though she doesn't understand and I don't explain these things to her yet.

In the car, I am crying- looking out at the industrial setting on either side of Route 3...hating the place where I buried you.

My friend holds my hand and makes conversation and small talk with your parents.

But mostly, staring out the window- I think thoughts like this, "Where are you Dan?  What's going on?  What is this?"  Mostly I am confused and disoriented.  I don't understand anything and literally think this must be what insanity feels like.  I think about Audrey's night terror and feel that I too, might not be fully awake somehow.  There must be something separating me from the rational world.  Inside I am writhing and kicking like she did against an unknown enemy, but outside I am staring and frozen.  I guess I've established some kind of routine by now for Audrey and I and being a daughter in law again has tilted the axis of my "new normal" (probably the "grief" term I loathe the most.  Can't someone come up with something better than that please?").

We pull up.  We have some trouble locating your plot.  I have not purchased the stone yet.  This is awful- I think.

We cry once we determine it.  We stand and take turns.  Your mother kneels with the red and yellow tulips and cries the way I heard her cry at the funeral.  Your father sobs quietly.  My father cries.  My friend grips me from behind.

I feel I might never stop crying if I do not monitor myself.  I feel I could cry for hours and days and months here like this.  It is inconceivable that you are here.  I am not here.  I don't know where I am.  I look around at the grounds of the cemetery.  I look at the NY skyline in the distance.  I place my white hydrangea in the middle and the white ranunculus stem from my bouquet at home across it to make a cross.  "Julia loves hydrangeas," I can hear you saying proudly.  "No, now my favorite flower is peony," I reply.

I kneel and touch the dirt.  It is still so dry- like last time.  With my hand on the dirt, a strange calm comes over me.  Yes, you are here.  Does it mean there is an invisible world if I can feel that.  I feel close to you.

All of us stand and your father prays.

I eye my own grave.  "Which side of the bed did he sleep on?" the grave caretaker had asked me when I chose the plot.  "The left," I guess.  We'd slept on different sides in different apartments.  We even changed a few times here.  I'm not sure I didn't pick that because you read left to right.

"I am coming," I say to you.  It feels morbid, but it is true.  "I'll be there...I'll be with you..."  I think.  And I will be.  Is it a gift to have this kind of perspective at 34 years old?  I think it probably is. (but one I'd gladly return)

"Julia...we could not forget him," your father tells me lovingly, "so we decided to live with him."  They tell me about how they speak to him and think of him always.

On the car ride home, I feel I could go to sleep and sleep for a few days- I am so emotionally drained.

I hate that I feel jealous when I hear my mother in law say "yubo" or tell me she'll share the water bottle I hand her with her husband.  But I do.

I think about how you died in 3 meters of water, but how there is no end to the depth of this sorrow.  It is an endless hole- expanding like the universe.  I think about the vastness of the universe- and of space.  I read about what we know about its shape and size.  It may be infinite.  This comforts me.  Is infinite eternal?  If it is, then eternity exists no?

I also think about how before you died, this world of sorrow existed- but it was invisible to me.  I saw only postcards written from it- on the news or from other people.  Now I live here.  Again, I must always emphasize, it truly is not my old world with the insertion of pain- but a completely different world I find myself in.  And I think to myself, if this world always existed invisible for the most part- and certainly unknown by me- isn't it possible there are more worlds out there that I do not know.

Every widow or widower I talk to agrees that for months or even years they wake up sincerely hoping it was all a bad dream and they will find their spouse lying next to them.  I feel this too, though secretly, I know by now it is not.  But what if I am not sleeping- in a nightmare, but rather your death is what awoke me...half-way.  Half of me- you- is there- fully awake now.  But the rest of me is still blind to true reality.  Isn't it possible that like Audrey I still have my eyes closed as I scream into the darkness, believing I am awake.  My father in law buys Audrey a Bible at the bookstore and tells me to read her a bit each night.  "This may give her confidence if she has another nightmare," he tells me.

Isn't it possible that I too am being held lovingly the way I hold Audrey even while I writhe?  I will not know that for some time probably.  But certainly it is possible.

For now, I send these postcards from here.
I comfort my daughter.
I visit your grave and I cry.
But mostly I wait
to
be
fully
awoken.

"but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears."  1 cor 13.10

Arrival

It's one of those days, I dread logging into this blog.

I don't care to relive the past few days.  I prefer to block it out and watch my current Korean drama0 but I know I can't go to sleep with all this.  So...I'll write it out.  When emotion is heavy and wet, my words I notice, are more dry...shorter sentences and phrases.  Anything to get it out in a controlled manner...bit by bit.  I add a funnel of words to the downpour so it is manageable.

My first visit with my inlaws as your widow Dan...is over.

I reward myself with a chocopie I bought before they came as I sit here on our bed.

Audrey is loudly singing herself to sleep as I type, "I woves you, you woves me, we're a habby bamily!"

The past few days reminded me of your funeral- something I knew would be so painful, but I had no choice but to march straight into.  No choice but to take each step down the church aisle towards that strange figure I saw lying there.

When they arrive, I am cooking for them in the kitchen.  My mother in law comes in and embraces me tightly and we both cry.   I am overwhelmed by the emotion I feel holding your mother like this.  It is as if we have just received the phone call.  I get tissues and hand her one.

I cook.  We eat.  Galbi, mee yook guk soup, panchan, kimchi, The rice is too dry.  I didn't put enough water.

After Audrey goes to sleep, you dad surprises me by climbing into the air mattress I have set up in the living room at 9 pm.  Your mom and I sit nearby and look through photo albums talking quietly about you.  Your dad pops up as we start to talk about your death and the things we don't know or understand. We talk about the little that we do know.  We shake our heads.

I sneak into bed with Audrey in the pack and play next to me and quietly do my freelance work on the computer in the dark.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Omanim-Abanim

Audrey keeps telling people "My inlaws are coming..." I guess she hears me saying that a lot lately.

It's a strange feeling Dan, to be preparing for a visit from your parents- without you here.

I can still remember the first time your mom came to our home when we were newly married.  Before she came, I went crazy scrubbing our apartment from top to bottom, buying Korean food, and even magazines in Korean I picked up in Koreatown to leave by her bedside.  She happened to come during a heat wave so it was miserably hot.  You and I gave her our bed and slept on the hardwood floor beside her in the bedroom of our 100 year old brownstone in Brooklyn  because that was the only room we had air conditioning in.  It was miserable.

Today I cleaned again.  Scrubbed the bathrooms, steamed the kitchen floor, dusted and vacuumed the living area.  I went to H-mart and spent $160 on kalbi, panchan, special grain rice, and a bunch of other things.  I will make a soybean soup I've never tried before, bi bim bop because Audrey has a children's book about making that and she'll enjoy sharing that with her grandparents.

I find I am throwing myself into this.  Because this is what a good Korean daughter in law does- and no, I'm not Korean- but I did my best to assimilate- because that's what you do when you love your husband and he happens to be Korean.

But also, I think, it is a certain kind of duty that I am a little giddy to embrace- it is a wifely duty- and technically- from what I hear- I'm no longer a wife.

Do I still call them omanim and abanim?  Koreans are so particular about titles- they have a different one for each relationship.

I love you and I miss you Daniel.  Tomorrow I will host your parents.  They'll play with your daughter.  I will be thinking of you every moment, feeling the deep void of your absence.  You should be here...

you should be here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

4 Weeks

"we leave for Europe w Regina at the end of this month.  Will be for 4
wks so Im not looking forward to being away from the ladies."


email to a friend, june 20th, 2010 7:04 am

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Apology

Sometime after your funeral, I read that when someone dies suddenly, what one really needs to say is, Thank you
I'm sorry
I love you
Goodbye.

I looked back on my own tribute that I spoke at your funeral and realized I had hit all of these.  They are important.

And the past few months I've been stuck on the I'm sorry.  I think of things- little and big - that I wish I could apologize for or had...but I can't.  So I scribble them on post-its or whatever piece of paper is available at that moment.  They're everywhere now.  Tonight I have summoned the strength to gather them up.  There are probably millions more, but here is what I have from eleven years.

It's a personal, honest apology- but I think there is some value in others reading it.  Take note, you may not have tomorrow to say you're sorry.

Dan- I'm sorry.  I think most of what I did was out of love- though I didn't express it that well.  Some of it was pure sinful selfishness- being human at its finest.


I'm sorry for asking you to look through the garbage for the pink doll from Audrey's dollhouse.  She turned up a month or so later under the oven, but you willingly dove in searching for her.

I'm sorry when we first got married I wrote Bruce Hornsby an email telling him about my amazing cellist husband and embarrassed you.  (He actually wrote back!)

I'm sorry I didn't take Audrey to the last show we could've seen together in Chicago.  I was just a nervous new mother not sure of how I would navigate around her nap schedules etc. I wish we'd gone.

I'm sorry I didn't go watch the World Cup game with you a few days before you left.  Instead I really wanted to go take a ride on this silly tall ship temporarily docked near our apartment.  You went to watch the game and Audrey and I took the ship ride.  When we came back to shore, you were there waiting, in your "Be the Reds" shirt.  We waved and I was so happy and surprised to see you.  The Korean team had lost.  I wish we'd all watched your last Korean game together.

I'm sorry I was always complaining that you ate too much or ate too quickly.  After I'd been cooking for an hour, you'd eat everything in five minutes, never leaving me with any leftovers.  I know food was an important way I should've loved you.  I'm sorry.

I'm sorry I didn't like the last Mother's Day gift you bought me- the paper rose necklace from Etsy.  You had it sent while you were away and mostly I was upset by the handwritten note, written by someone else- the woman who made it-, telling me what a great mother I was.  I wanted you to be home that day.  I'm sorry I accidentally broke it trying to figure out how to wear all of the strands that loop around.  You said you thought it'd look pretty on me.  I'm so sorry.

I'm sorry I didn't like the geese painting entitled "Learning" with the mother and baby goose you bought for Audrey when you were on tour in the Fall of 2009.  I read the back how the artist had committed suicide at a young age and saw something dark in it- that's why.  I'm sorry.  It's framed and hanging in Audrey's room now.

I'm sorry I didn't let you get PS3 or a television.  I thought it'd help us both to focus on our crafts if we didn't have a television.  Plus I thought it'd be better for Audrey.

I'm sorry I complained about how you tied back the curtain.

I'm sorry for making you move your desk with your music equipment twice because I was going for a minimalist look in our bedroom.

I'm sorry I accidentally put nutmeg in your oatmeal instead of cinnamon one morning, and I generally made you eat oatmeal even though you said it made you nauseous.

I'm sorry when you cut your leg while helping me move from my apartment in Washington Heights I said you were being a baby, but later I saw the wound and until the day you died, you had a scar.

I'm sorry we fought so late into the night when I lived in Washington Heights and as a result, you went home late and were attacked and stabbed in the subway.

I'm sorry sometimes I'd playfully press your nose and say beep.  "Ouch, that hurts!" you said.

I'm sorry I tickled you so much.

I'm sorry I'd chase your toes under the blanket with my cold toes.

I'm sorry I asked you so many questions during movies and could never follow complicated story lines asking you, "Wait, I'm confused- what's going on?"

I'm sorry I got so crazy and stressed before vacations packing and cleaning and also anytime before we had guests over.

I'm sorry I didn't always rinse my plate off and you food got stuck on and you were the dishwasher.

I'm sorry I didn't let you drink soda.

I'm sorry I didn't let you get a tattoo.

I'm sorry I complained about our hotel bathroom in Quebec City because online it had looked really luxurious and then it was just normal.   You took a picture of me sitting on the bed looking sad and disappointed.  A funny, funny picture we laughed at often.

I'm sorry my pms was so dreadful you knew my monthly schedule better than I did.

I'm sorry I told you to write resumes for music jobs when we first got married when that wasn't how the music industry worked at all and you knew it.

I'm sorry I didn't come meet you in Korea after your Asia tour last spring.  You would've gotten to see your dad meet Audrey- instead he met her at the funeral.  I just didn't think I could handle that long of a flight with her by myself and then deal with car seats, cribs, etc once I got there.

I'm sorry we threw out your guitar when we had the bed bugs.  "It's perfectly good," I can still hear you saying to yourself.  It wasn't anything special, but you loved that guitar.  I did too.

I'm sorry at some point I got kind of tired of telling others the story of how we met.  I used to love telling it and I don't know what happened.  Now I do again...that's not fair.

I'm sorry when we fought and you said, "You know you're hard on me right?" I never said, "Yeah, sorry."  Well, maybe a few times I did.

I'm sorry I put vinegar in big open bowls in the built in cabinets in Park Slope.  I read it gets rid of musty odors, but instead our clothes smelled like vinegar.

I'm sorry you didn't like the strong peppermint smell of my latest hand lotion but I would put it on and wave my hands at you at night in bed just the same.

I'm sorry about my tone.  You always told me it wasn't the words I was saying, but my tone.

I'm sorry I was so insistent on having the tag of the duvet cover on the bottom right hand side of the bed and told you that was the rule.  I made that up.

I'm sorry for punching you when you snored really loudly at night and yelling, "roll over to your side please!"

I'm sorry for complaining that you never put your socks in the hamper.

I'm sorry about the long debate we got into about why I felt dirtier the second day if I took my shower at night rather than in the morning.

I'm sorry I said you ruined the "perfect shot" on the Easter train of Audrey and the Easter bunny because you lifted her in front of the bunny.

I'm sorry for talking to you or telling you what to say when you were on the phone with someone else, "Oh don't forget to ask them..."    That always bothered you.

I'm sorry I always had tissues up my sleeves and often forgot and put them in the washer in my clothes and they wound up in the dryer- all the little pieces.

I'm sorry I told you I already took a library magnet when you brought one home from the library.  Then I told you to bring it back because I didn't want the clutter and you said you'd leave it on some vending machine and I didn't get that idea at all.

I'm sorry I didn't get why you were saying "Super Party Poo poo" when you lifted Audrey up on your legs like superman.  I have since discovered why in an old journal of yours.  Why didn't you tell me?

I'm sorry about the shattered glass- both times- the time in our Bay Ridge apartment with the picture frame.  I didn't want you to carry it downstairs because I was afraid you'd get cut...and when you dropped the glass tray in our new microwave when we were moving into this place and glass shattered everywhere.  I was just so worried about Audrey.  My mom said as long as you were OK that was the main thing.  Yeah, that was the main thing.

I'm sorry I said onions and mushrooms had no nutritional value when we were first dating and they were the only vegetables you ate.  They do.  I was wrong.

I'm sorry I never ironed and when I did, I seemed to make things more wrinkled than when I started.

I'm sorry for making you eat dried apricots after I read they fought prostate cancer in men- even though you said you really didn't like them.

I'm sorry for packing an uncooked broccoli calzone in your lunch sometime before you left.  I forgot that I froze it before cooking it and you wouldn't be able to just mic it at work.  When you told me you'd thrown it out, I was so mad, but then later you explained that it looked kinda funny and I realized.  We laughed, but I'm sorry Dan.

I'm sorry for putting popcorn kernels that I'd tried to chew but couldn't, back in the popcorn bowl- all wet and soggy- sometimes you'd pick one up and say "Gross!"

I'm sorry I complained that the pajamas you got me last Christmas while on tour weren't cotton and would be uncomfortable.  I'm wearing them right now.

I'm sorry for freaking out some days when I couldn't find anything to wear.

I'm sorry I got too "crazy" for you sometimes- and sang Broadway style jokingly which you loathed.

I'm sorry for making you watch that really, really bad Kirk Cameron movie with a theme about Christian marriage and sticking it out.  Oh that was bad.

I'm sorry for yelling at you right after I'd given birth when I sat down too hard on the sitz bath you'd prepared for me on the toilet and the water splashed everywhere- I misjudged the distance- it was my fault.

I'm sorry for blaming you when you came home when night while I was writing an article- finally starting one - and felt I was on a roll and that you'd interrupted my creative flow.  You were never to blame for my lack of creative motivation.  That was all me.

I'm sorry I said we should get the "kangaroo" cart when we lived in Brooklyn- for shopping and laundry- that little extra pouch in the front kept hitting our legs as we pulled it.  "You just haaad to get the kangaroo," you'd say jokingly.

I'm sorry for buying a fake orchid that time.  "Tacky," you said.  It was- we sold it at the stoop sale.

I'm sorry for telling you that you were running down the cordless vacuum battery.

I'm sorry for being so overly sensitive to criticism when we recorded our music album together.

I'm sorry I made fun of you for always going straight to the comics when we went to the library.

I'm sorry I always yelled at you for always ruining the most sentimental parts of the movies for me by making fake crying sounds loudly.

I'm sorry Daniel Haewan Cho.

Please forgive me.

And
thank you.

Beauty

This morning light snow was falling off the awning of the walkway to the ferry.  I stood on the long walkway, watching it fall in long chunks and drop somehow gracefully to the ground.  Quickly they fell, but slow enough that I could see them drifting through the air.  I thought it was beautiful.  I thought about gravity- how it holds us here to this earth.  Many years ago at a retreat I was sitting outside with my journal where I watched leaves fall slowly from a fall tree- when I thought I heard God telling me this: "there is beauty in falling."  "There is beauty in falling," I think to myself this morning standing there, cold, watching the new, light snow, plummet from above.

Beauty- I've always loved that word- and "ephemeral"- which you always made fun of me for.  You claimed your favorite was cantankerous.

Beauty seems very important to me these days.  I heard it said that although we see beauty in nature all around us- there is also brutality in nature- so although nature can suggest a creator- it cannot prove a benevolent or loving creator.  Only the cross, this pastor said, suggests this.

But in beauty, I see love.  Does an artist of any kind have the capacity to create something beautiful without having known or experienced love in some form?  I don't know the answer to this really- just something I've been pondering.

I've also heard it said that beauty is a lot like faith.  After all, if someone asks you to explain it or how you know it exists- it's not really easy to do.

I meet my counselor for my appointment.  I am still hovering, we determine, between hanging on to the pain, and moving forward.  "But the doors haven't opened yet," she tells me- something to push me towards that new life that I have to accept will be different- very different.

We talk about the upcoming visit with my inlaws from Korea.   It is strange to have inlaws when your husband is no longer alive.  We talk about how I will spend Easter.  I tell her that this year Easter is very, very important to me.  It means, truly, that possibly my husband's corpse will one day rise from the ground and he will live in it again.  This sounds crazy and supernatural- and it is both of those- but this is what the Gospel says.  "The dead shall rise first."  I tell her it's my only hope and I notice she, a woman who lost her eighteen year old daughter to a car accident, must silently wipe her tear-filled eyes as she nods her head in agreement slowly.

On the bus back to the ferry- a new layer of grief comes to me.  Something I hadn't thought of because I haven't been able to look ahead at all.  One day, I think, one day Audrey may have a child- a baby.  I will be a grandmother.  You, Dan, will not hold that baby.  We will not get to be grandparents together.  Oh how I will miss you then.

And in my mind, you will be a grandfather- at the age of 33.    

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bound

It settles in.

But not as the word "settles" implies.

It settles like a Chinese woman's feet being bound.   The arch of the foot, broken.  Toes, broken.  And then right away, she is forced to stand up and walk in all of that excruciating pain.  The result: lotus-shaped feet.

I can't compare myself to the physical pain these women went through.  That seems wrong.  But it did come to my mind today as an apt, though as usual imperfect, analogy...nothing more.

Broken
and
standing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

For How Long?

For how long, I ask myself, can one live in a world that feels completely surreal?  There has to be something physically unhealthy about it.

How much longer?  When will I get immersed once again in everyday details and busyness?  When will I escape back into denial, make plans way into the future and forget my mortality again?

For how many years will I ask friends who come to visit- some I haven't seen in years, your friends, my friends, "Can you believe it?  I just can't get it...can you believe this is real," and watch their faces, somewhat surprised by my bluntness- clearly they had been unsure of what to expect on this "visit."  "No, I can't," they reply.

I feel like my post on Hope- where my 2-1/2 year old tells me the meaning of life, was perhaps too romanticized and it's bothered me a bit.  That's not what our life looks like- taking walks and philosophizing, thinking about hope.  Yesterday, I had to take Audrey to the doctor for her 2-1/2 year check-up.  She woke up at 5:40 am though for some reason and neither of us got back to sleep.  So...we were both cranky.  It was pouring.  I carried her on my hip with the umbrella in my other hand, and her small umbrella that she insisted on bringing closed and tucked under my arm, but with both of us wearing down coats and with her at 30 pounds now, she kept slipping over my hip.  Finally, we were almost at the car I put her down, held the umbrella over her and asked her to hurry and let's walk to the car.  She began to scream and cry to be picked up, but I just pulled her along.  When I got her in the car seat she was in a total meltdown.  She screamed, "I want -- you--to---pick--me -- up!!"  "But Audrey we're in the car now...we have an appointment," I say leaning in the backseat, trying to get her buckle on as she hits my hands.  Finally, I break down crying with my head in my hands.  She starts to cry and pull my hands away from my face, "Mommy, why are you crying like that!"  I finish strapping her in and get in the front seat, turn on the car and drive to the office listening to her screaming the entire time.  Only when we finally got out did she calm down as I carried her to the office building in the rain.

It only seems right to balance out the heartwarming moments with the grueling ones I also face each day.  The ones where I feel both her and I are really crying about something else.

This afternoon though, over macaroni and cheese, I must've been babbling once again about the meaning of life...but in different words, "what's all this about?" and she answered quickly this time and proudly this time because she remembered how I'd reacted and marveled the last time, "ope!"

"Hope in what though? What is our hope in?"  I ask.

"ope because God loves me," she answered.

I'm not sure if I ever said this- sometimes toddlers say the sweetest things when they mix things up just a bit.  But if there is a God- even if he is just indifferent towards us- we are in big trouble.  But if he looks at us with even the slightest bit of love, there is great, great hope for us.

Still, this evening my hope is distant...my surreal world all around me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring

I wonder if I'll ever understand that I am never going to see you again.

I wonder how far away this will seem in 35 years when I've lived my current lifespan again- without you.   It is ridiculous to consider.  And impossible.

Joan Didion quite aptly calls it a year of magical thinking.

Still, when the bus drops people off in front of our apartment, I sometimes go to the window.

I look for someone that I can pretend is you for one moment in the distance and dimming light.  I squint my eyes.  I know it's not you- the walk gives it away.  I'd have known your walk from miles away.  But I just want to feel in my old world for one moment.  The disorientation and unfamiliarity of this one gets so tiresome.

And sometimes too, I still look up from my work on the computer at our bedroom door, thinking I might see the handle slowly turn, and your face follow with the look that said, "I hope I didn't just wake Audrey up coming in the front door!"  And then you'd often sigh because you were tired.  And then I would stop what I'm doing, get up, go to you, and give you a hug.

A friend of yours stops by for lunch today and I make duk mandoo guk.  I realize as I'm making the broth earlier and boiling the tiny fish- that I am so excited to cook for someone and that I miss doing that so much.  I start to cry while rinsing dishes because I will never get to cook for you again.

Today is the first day of spring.  It is also Audrey's 2-1/2 year birthday.  We lit a candle on a brownie bite and she actually blew it out for once.

"You're missing it all," I say out loud tonight sitting on our bed after she's asleep and I'm trying to get my freelance work done but distracted as usual.

I think of a very short poem I wrote about four years ago when spring was burgeoning and I'd walk through Madison Square Park every morning on my way to work.  It's entitled, "Announcement"

Announcement


We have come back


from the dead


singing.

Everyone's OK

One of the things I replay in my mind is the phone call I made to my parents to tell them my husband was "apparently" dead- I remember using that word.

They had just gone to Connecticut that day for a mini vacation and had just arrived at the hotel when I reached them.

It was funny because I remember them saying a few days before, if you need anything- we can don't have to go--- or we can always come back- something like that.  You'd been on the European tour almost a week so I was home alone with Audrey.  I replied shortly, "What would I need?  We're fine."  

Then I got the phone call a couple of days later.

I don't remember who I called first- but I think it was them.  Then I went downstairs, knocked on a neighbor's door but there was no reply- left voicemails with two or three other friends...and waited.  

But you know how when something bad happens, and you have to tell someone- but you don't want them to think the worst?  So you say, "Everyone's OK- but..." I just keep remembering how as soon as I was searching for words to tell my parents, I couldn't say that...but I said, "I'm OK, Audrey's OK...but... apparently my husband's dead."  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Angel

Angel lives in Honduras.  He was born on the day we met: May 31, 1999.  That's how we chose him when we scrolled through the children's faces the first year we got married.

He was only five when we chose him.  Now he's twelve.  When money got tight for us we would joke and say, "Maybe it's time to cut off Angel- he's getting big."

Tonight I catch up on the big wire basket of paperwork that I throw stuff in until I can deal with it.  There's an Easter card to sign and send to Angel.

It's from Daniel and Julia.

I sign it from both of us.  There's no reason for Angel to know.

The Meaning of Life

The other night Audrey asked me for a picture of her appa to keep in her crib at bedtime- "to protect her."  Not sure where she even learned that concept.

Today we walked along the river in the afternoon just to get some fresh air.  I got a tea at Whole Foods.  On the way back I felt so tired, I needed to sit down on a bench facing the river.  Audrey has a cold and sat bundled up with a hat almost covering her eyes, nose running a bit.

I asked her, jokingly to myself really, "What do you think of all this Audrey?  Is life good?" and finally,
"Audrey- what is the meaning of life."

While gazing at a few geese on the grass in front of her and appearing in a daze, she spoke softly, still staying in that daze..."ope."  I lean in, curious what she said and fascinated that she would even attempt an answer..."what did you say?"

"hope."
"Did you say hope?"
"yes."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hope

It feels like a very dark day for me.
People should not cancel on new widows.  (Am I still new?)  We've had enough plans cancelled.

All emotions lie in the same part of the brain so it makes sense that my grief overflows when any other emotion is touched upon.  Anxiety at the dentist?  Turns into tears.  Disappointment over a cancelled outing?  Tears.  It's like adding just a tiny bit of water to a tub that is already as full as it can be.  It all spills over.

I think the word drown is a hideous word.  In the past tense it is even fouler.  Awkward to say.  Long and forced like it should've been an exception to the "ed" rule but it was forgotten.  We were talking about ugly words right before you left remember?  I told you I thought pubic would rate pretty high on my list of ugly words.  We discussed sound and meaning/connotation.  All of the above.

I didn't think it wise to compare deaths- like would I have wanted you to have an illness where you were in the hospital for a year?  At least then we would've gotten to say goodbye?  It didn't seem wise to do this.  Each death, tragedy, is its own being.  How can you compare or say which is worse or better?  But lately, I am so sad that there was nothing- no goodbye- no be well...I'll always love you...I'm so sorry...nothing.  That I am leaning towards thinking a longer illness is "better?"  Not better- less bad- as a friend told me she likes to say.  It feels like there can be no closure because I can't discuss this with you- as I have every other important event in my adult life.

A woman whose young son is very ill feels a connection with me and I with her.  I am rooting for them because they still have hope.  I am angry I did not get that with you Dan.  Just a phone call announcing: no hope.

Or is there an excess of hope somewhere else- invisible?  I've been meditating a lot on hope lately- I think it's peculiar to humanity- I doubt there is any other animal hoping.  But we do...we hope.


Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher death, and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man

Music

Sorting through our CD collection tonight- had ordered boxes and sleeves so I could get rid of the plastic cases.

Going through the soundtrack of our life together is difficult.

There are many signed CD's- one from one of our favorite vocalists- especially during our dating days- Jonatha Brooke- "dan and julia- love and candy- jonatha" she wrote.  One signed by Patti Griffin wishing me a happy birthday- you stood on line for a long time to get that one- you had told me.  I listened to it over and over again in the car driving back and forth to my grad school program.  "As I row, row, row, going so slow, slow, slow..."

In some from artists you played with I find a napkin telling you where to listen to the parts they wanted you to play online- in another a thank you card for playing so well on that album.

I decided to get rid of quite a few of my own CD's and kept just about all of yours.  I realize now- you were right.  You had much better musical taste than me.  And it was you who brought the artists I listened to into my life the past ten years usually saying, "I think you might like this..."

I don't listen to music very much anymore- usually just kids stuff for Audrey or classical music I put on while she paints at her easel because it feels like a good thing to do.  I can't dare listen to the mixes you had made for yourself that on your iphone...the one I use now.

It's too hard to play those songs.

And I wonder as I sift through all of this song- if I will have any more music in my life or if this archive will always be where it stopped and what I return to as my collection.

all is silent now.  i'm still acting each day- "oh yeah, I'm the widow..."  but there's never that point where the music shifts, picks up, and my life starts fresh.  because there simply is no soundtrack to this.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Grief You're Like a Roach

Grief you're like a roach.  Like the giant water bugs we used to have in our first Brooklyn apartment.  So grotesque and shockingly large, and yet so elusive, able to run quicker than we could catch you and melt your body to slip through the smallest crack or crevice.  We moved the bed and the nightstands searching for you.  I yelled because he missed you and I knew I'd get no rest knowing you were about.  But you always were weren't you?

Tonight I went into our clothes closet to grab some art supplies I keep there right now for Audrey.  I pushed open the door and reached down to get them.  The sleeve of a button down shirt of yours Dan, seemed to reach out and grab me.  The button became all entangled in my hair before I realized what had happened and I'd already shut the closet light out.  I struggled in the dark to get loose for a minute, ripping my hair off that button because it was disconcerting to be stuck there.  And leaving a few strands on your still unwashed shirt.

I have nothing else tonight.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spiral

It just goes on and on- and this is surprising.  How I have to keep doing this...and "getting this," though I still feel utterly disoriented and confused babbling to myself often, "I don't understand this."  Still- I function and listen to myself talking of details.  And time is not a line- but a spiral. And I circle and step over this again and again.  




You think that their 
dying is the worst 
thing that could happen. 

Then they stay dead. 


Donald Hall, poet (part of a longer haiku written on the death of his wife, poet Jane Kenyon)




(Thank you Anne.)



Why

"First of all, God has created a world in which many more good things than bad things happen.  We find life's disasters upsetting not only because they are painful but because they are exceptional.  Most people wake up on most days feeling good.  Most illnesses are curable.  Most airplanes take off and land safely.  Most of the time, when we send our children out to play, they come home safely.  The accident, the robbery, the inoperable tumor are life-shattering exceptions, but they are very rare exceptions."


Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People

I respectfully must disagree with the above statement taken from his book "When Bad Things Happen to Good People."  I read this a few months ago that time I grabbed about 20 books from the library.  I've heard of it and assumed it was a classic with some wisdom to offer.  While I did feel his heartfelt grief over the loss of his handicapped son, and there were good points regarding the value of religious community - I came away quite disappointed.  Not only does he portray a God who simply can't do anything- can't alter natural laws, and doesn't like suffering - but has nothing to do with it, but the above statement is what bothered me the most.

First, I think God did create a world that was good- there are remnants and echos of it everywhere.  Whether you believe the story in Genesis or not, it seems that something went wrong.  I feel this on the larger scale of the world, and I see it in miniature in myself.  I feel I'm supposed to "be something," but I'm never quite able to attain it or express what I think that is on the outside through achievements or appearance.  Instead, I catch glimpses of it, but continue to battle with myself- all of those things in the words of Paul- "i do that I do not want to do."  something like that.

Second, I do not think I find Dan's death upsetting, even partly, because it's exceptional.  If 500 others had died on that day the same way- even mysteriously, I would find it no less painful.  My pain would not divide in pie chart form and thus be somewhat alleviated... it would remain
this whole
throbbing
sphere.

Thirdly, "Most illnesses are curable," he writes.  Death is not.  And death is not rare- it is inevitable for each person.  Does that make it any less sad?  I don't think so.  Natural aging/degeneration- does not seem "good" or "natural" though we've become accustomed to calling 80 small years a "good life."  If it feels that way, that's because we are desensitized and live 99% of our lives in complete denial of our coming end.  Am I comfortable with the knowledge that one day my daughter will die?  No, I am not.  No matter how "good" in the world's eyes of a life she lives- that is not what I wish for her.

And lastly, what is one human being's pain worth?  Is the size or scope of one person's pain to be determined by the fact that the tragedy that caused it is rare and surrounding that speck of a tragedy are lots of days or families without tragedies?  This makes no sense.  One horrible, tragic, endlessly painful thing seems enough, not to nullify the goodness we do see in the world, but to admit that, no, more good things do not happen than bad things.  You see, it all depends on how you measure it.  And what about the Black Plague, the Holocaust, September 11th?  The tsunami that happened this past week?  Are these blots of horror and pain for millions not enough to turn the tide from "mostly good," to "hey, this is not so good."  And we must also detour from Western middle class to those living in the projects or living in countries torn by civil war.  They surely don't wake up on most days "feeling good."

I do not argue this point because I am being pessimistic or morbid, (though it may be translated as such) or because I want to "believe" in universal suffering or tragedy because it makes me feel there must be more than this (though this, admittedly, is true), but because I don't believe any one person who has endured pain, singular pain in their own life on a grand scale, is being self-absorbed when they say, "No, this is not good...something here is horribly wrong.  And it is not just my case...but look.."  because one's eyes are opened, if one is willing to bear it- to suffering once the veil is torn.  To say anything less, is to take one's pain and tuck it away and call it an anomaly rather than accept it as our condition...the human condition and continue to wrestle with the question of...
why.

Salute

Though I didn't know a single one before my husband died, I have corresponded now with many young widows.

Some have endured traumatically watching their husbands die before their eyes.  One recently gave birth to a third child...by herself.  Many have their own blogs where they explore their own grief process- some do not.  Many have children of all ages- some two, three, twins.  They are doing their best to help their children grieve well while under this insufferable weight themselves.  They are working, not working, getting life insurance, making up wills, moving, staying, trying to keep their homes in order.

Not one was prepared for this loss.

Not one has any answers.

But each one is breathing and loving their children.

I wish I'd never met any of them.

They are not courageous by choice- this is what they have set before them.  I know they don't like it when people tell them they're "so strong,"

but oh my goodness...

they are.

In their weighted march
and under constant assault
in the kinship of their words
written late,
late
at night


I behold
a beauty
I have never seen
before.

Sunday Night Thoughts

Random, unorganized thoughts from the past few days.

I didn't think I should have to give up anything else for Lent this year.

Not that we did this every year- but a few times.  There was that one year you gave up PS2 and I gave up chocolate.  But then I went out with a friend to some girls' night and had a few free cocktails and took a sample of chocolate and ate it without thinking.  I came home and told you about my night kind of giddily and then somehow wound up telling you, "Oh so then I got a few chocolate samples," and your eyes widened and you said, "Chocolate!" And then I remembered.

Anyway, I didn't think I should have to give up anything this year, even though Lent feels more important than usual.

I am tired of leftovers.  We have so many now because I can't seem to get down cooking for just myself and a toddler who may or may not eat what I prepare.  You ate all the leftovers.

Feels like I have a lot of leftover love too.  Not only deprived of receiving, but also of giving.  I'm guessing this is why I pour myself into little memorial "projects" for you.  I am used to having someone to direct this love towards for eleven years and now you are not here to receive what I have to give.

When I spoke at your funeral about the mundane details I mentioned how you always unclogged the toothpaste.  I'm just not good at squeezing it neatly or closing the top so the top gets dried and gross and hard to close.  A few days after I buried you, I remember it getting clogged already and I spoke out loud something like, "no!" and cleaned it neatly before closing the cap tightly.  "No, I will not be destroyed- I will not lose everything you've taught me," the action seemed to say.

The toothpaste- the same tube you shared with me, is just about gone now- and it's a mess.

In terms of remarriage I'm set.  This morning Audrey told me she wants to marry me.  And it's funny because you told me that you remembered being a little boy and wanting to marry your mom.

Today we went to the Bronx Zoo with family friends.  It was my first time there since I took the subway there with you when we were first dating over ten years ago.   It feels like every new place I return to this year - the last time I was there was probably with you.  I see photos in my mind of me in a purple fleece smiling with elephants behind me.  I remember you bought me cotton candy and I got hyper.  I remember you fell asleep- your head on my shoulder on the train on the way home.  I couldn't understand how you fell asleep a lot like that since I was so excited about our new dating relationship, I never could've fallen asleep on you.  But you really did.  I can feel the weight of your head as you drifted off, getting heavier and heavier on my shoulder...and then rolling off from time to time when the train jolted...you'd reposition it on my shoulder without waking up.

It's hard to be with another family unit- and old friends whom we knew together.  I am overcome at points- when I see Audrey follow their daughter's lead and run into the man's arms asking, "Can I do that?"  My eyes tear up frequently and I tell myself to breath...this is for Audrey- she will have a good time.

I feel these days like every child with two parents is spoiled- living in luxury.


Not every single thing was bad about you being away-traveling.  I was just remembering how attractive you seemed to me one time on skype- how I suddenly felt nervous and hoped I looked OK when I saw you on the screen.  You were about to go on for a show and wearing black as all of the band members did.   You always looked great in black- and white too.  You were looking right into my eyes which I find so hard to do on skype myself- and you were saying, "hey beautiful…" and I thought you were talking to Audrey- cause you acted like you were but you looked straight at me.  
"Hey beautiful..." you said slowly...after almost eleven years together- I think I blushed.  

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Story

Dear Audrey,
Tonight something happened that I didn't think would happen for a few years.

When I was putting you to bed, you were anxious and upset like most nights.  Then you told me you were crying because appa died.  This is not the first time.  You told me you wanted him to come see you.

But then you asked me directly, "Tell me the story.  What happened to him!"  in as demanding and heartbroken a way as an almost 2-1/2 year old can.  You looked me right in the eye, and I could literally feel the pain you must endure having absolutely no idea where your dad disappeared to or why.  Only that he had an accident, got hurt, his body didn't work anymore- all things I've read to use in grief books for children.

We tell a lot of stories around here, so it was interesting to me that you framed it in that way all by yourself.    Yes- this will be part of our story always...yours and mine.

Then I looked at you and told you "it's very very sad...in a few years when you're a little bit older."  You seemed satisfied with that.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jewelry Tells A Story


You used to always complain (jokingly) that I wanted jewelry, and I would try to explain that it didn't have to be anything fancy and that it wasn't about the item as much as the story behind it.  When I look at my jewelry, I think, "There's the necklace you gave me for our first Christmas," or "There's the ring you made out of a straw in college and said you would give to your first girlfriend," or "There are the chandelier earrings I carefully choose for my wedding day."

You've given me so many lovely pieces of jewelry over eleven years, from Tiffany's to the small shops like Clay Pot in Park Slope.  I wanted to take a few of my favorite pieces and showcase them someplace special where I could always see them all together.  And I happened to see this lovely box at Pottery Barn and ordered it a few months ago.  It was on backorder but it came today.  The rest of my jewelry will remain in the box I've had since I was a little girl, but now I have a special place to showcase all of the "stories" of us.

Those stories appear here in metal and linen and glass...but they're also in nerves and neurons and this thing called a soul.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lost

I'm really becoming more immobilized by the day.   I hope it's just a rough patch.  My analogy of the day- since these images seem to leap out at me...a stone mortar and pestle...I feel ground up...like I can't get any smaller.

I keep thinking about all of those mundane things that will never happen again.  You coming up beside me to take my bag and carry it for me...you reaching for my hand while you carry your cello on your shoulder, leading me down some little street on the lower east side to watch you play...you bringing me a glass of water at night after Audrey's gone to sleep, or just simply telling me I look nice.  I miss being loved...I really do miss it.  For almost eleven years there was someone in the world who knew me more intimately than anyone, and yet, still loved me more than anyone.  That person is gone and now, no matter who tells me they're here for me- the fact is that there is no one in the world that loves me like that.  With your love.  The years of history and worldless intimacy are just scattered memories that I try desperately to catch and write down.

I sorted through your DVD collection- you loved movies.  I bought boxes at IKEA for them.  I took out the one I had bought- "I am Sam" which you said was horrible.  I'll get rid of it.  Yours I'll keep- you had good taste in movies.  One day maybe Audrey and I can watch them together and try to see what you saw.  I have not watched one movie since you died.  That is something we did together.  I so enjoyed our commentaries and critiques afterwards.

A few days ago, something made me think of the name of the nurse in the hospital after I had Audrey.  We didn't find her very helpful and she had a different name that you would still say in a sarcastic, mocking tone when we recalled my whole labor experience...but the other day, I couldn't remember her name.  I felt so lost and so desperate, because I knew if you were here, you'd tell me right away.  It's like that with so much of my life experience- lost.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Trap Door

These past few days it's like I've fallen into a trap door on this stage where I get up every day and act the role of the widow.

It's caught me off guard.

But suddenly it's as if all of the supposed "strength" I've been mustering for eight months to get through each task as it comes...has dissipated completely.  Is it hormones or the oncoming spring, or is it just the strength in me coming up has met the reality coming down.  And is crushed.

I can tell when people have no idea what this is like and have never lost anyone close to them when they tell me they imagine it will take a few "holidays" before I feel well again.  Or when they tell me that something made them think of you and they can only imagine how many more things make me think of you.

Because I think of you every moment.  You never leave me.  The memories are sparked every moment -  because there is no item I can look at, no place I can go, clothes I can put on, or music or movie or song- that doesn't trace its root back to you somehow.

I was remembering tonight how you were always trying so hard to become a better lyric writer- and one way you did that was to study poetry- my poetry books.  So I remember you carrying around a really big hardcover of ee cummings for a while.  And then I would see lines from his poems in your song idea notebooks to inspire you.  I thought it was very sweet and endearing.

You know I just got up to look for that book in my bookshelf and it's gone.  I remember asking you to be sure to bring it home from somewhere I guess three or four years ago when you were carrying it around to and from work.  It's gone.  My first instinct is to get angry with you- "I told you not to lose that book!"  "Think hard- where could it be?"  But then this is years ago already.  It is gone.  I hear the bus just now screeching to its stop in front of our building.  You are not on it.


i carry your heart with me  ee cummings


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Eight Months

Eight months today.

I didn't make it out of my pajamas.

It poured most of the day, and it still is.  I can hear the wind actually howling and beating against the windows in my bedroom.

I'm glad for pathetic fallacy.

I keep asking myself a question lately- if I'd go back to any part of my life and start there, if it meant you'd still be alive.  

So, would I go back to my miserable adolescent years and live it all again...just to know I'd get to meet you all over again.  Would I go back to some of the darker periods of our life together...a breast biopsy, a miscarriage, a miserable landlord in our first apartment, the bed bugs.

Of course, the answer is yes.  Because all of those dark times...they don't seem so dark anymore.  Difficult, yes, but dark- I did not know darkness until this.

It is eight months.  I'll wake up and do this again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Wish Appa Was at a Concert

Dear Audrey,

Tonight when I returned from putting toothpaste on your toothbrush I found you strumming my guitar in the corner and singing quietly, "I wish..."  I watched silently and then when you saw me you told me: "that's an old song about appa."  When I asked you how it goes, you told me these lyrics, "I wish you were at a concert with all your old friends playing the cello."

I really don't know how you know all of this- it's almost eery.

We sit and read after this and I hope you don't notice the unevenness in my voice as I fight back tears and sobs.

Putting you to bed is always so difficult lately.  Almost nightly now you ask me if I'm going to die.

Tonight you followed that with, "I'm angry because appa died."  I've worked really hard on teaching you how to express your emotions using words like this.

I ask you who you're angry with and you say, "Appa, because he died."

This hurts the most and I tell you through tears that appa didn't mean to die- that it was accident and he would never want to leave us because he loves us so much.

Picturing your dad overhearing this, and knowing how much he adored you and hated to see you in any kind of pain- is what hurts me the most.

It's been another long day.

We miss you appa.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Funeral Photos

Yesterday someone who helped organize your funeral dropped off the photos she had taken there.

I had asked for them.

I slid in the disc and took a breath.

And there I saw photos of it all.  Evidence that it really happened.

I don't look at all of them- just open up a few here and there in sequential order.

There are your friends looking at photo albums and framed photos of you in the back amidst burning candles.  There is the casket- and one shot that reveals your body in it in the distance.  Thankfully, there are no close-ups.  I find I am thankful for the shot because it looks more like I would've imagined from a distance- like you asleep.  Up close, that is not how you looked at all.

There is the receiving line, and there I am...standing with the shawl you brought me back from Japan draped over my shoulders.  I am pale.  My hair is much shorter than now.  (I have not had it cut since last May- part of the grieving I think.)  I look so calm.

The next day- the funeral.  More people- shots of the whole church full of heads.  There is sorrow in the photographs.  Sorrow in the faces.  Shots of the musicians playing their pieces.  A shot of the closed casked with the ribbon: Loving husband and father.  There I am up at the podium reading my final letter to you.  My face is surprisingly composed.  And there I am during the closing prayer and hymn holding Audrey, she is smiling brightly- her brightly colored flower dress- the one she wore on Father's Day just a few weeks prior- chosen for that reason by me and because I thought a baby should look bright and not dark no matter what- that brightly colored flower dress against my black dress- and my face in that photo- shows the sorrow.  It is gaunt and my eyes are empty.

The burial.  There I am sitting on one of those furry chairs on one of the hottest days of the summer.  There is the casket.  Another receiving line- black umbrellas held over your mother and I to block out the hot sun as we embrace each person on the line.

I am grateful for these photos though it's hard to say why.  They help me process and believe what it's taking almost as much faith to believe has occurred as it does to believe you might still "be" somewhere.

Having the documentation is like touching the mystical haze that surrounded me during those days, weeks, and months and still clings on.

There I am
in black
at your
funeral.

March 1

Spring comes quickly.

I find myself unprepared.

January and February were like hiding places.

Pathetic fallacy of bare branches and short days.  Staying inside.

Snow brought silence and softness.   I felt safe when I woke up to find it snowing.

Now rolling in like waves I can not stop: my 35th birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and the one year anniversary of your death.  Every day pushes me towards that one.  The one that will say, "Yes, an entire revolution has passed...each season without him...this is real...

and final.

What I got from my counselor last week is that the feeling of isolation is supposed to happen.  Friends go back to their lives, which forces me to realize I don't have a life to go back to...that's when I need to create one.  It's not a rebuilding.  It's a new birth.  It will take work.  I am tired.  I will cut back on our activities for a while and gather up some strength.

I am asking you lately- where you are.  "Where are you?" I say quietly into the air in our bedroom.

I water the cello- I keep forgetting...on purpose.

I wear your socks.  It started because all of mine were in the laundry, but then I figured why not?  I never understood how you fit your size 10-1/2 feet into those socks.  Often you'd accidentally put my socks in your drawer after folding up the laundry, and I'd be searching around for them.  You were wearing them unknowingly.  I'd ask you how you squeezed your feet into them, but I guess you were used to it.  Yours are fitting me perfectly, so I take a little bit of you everywhere I go.  If I look at the bottoms, I can almost pretend they're your feet, but smaller.  I see the areas that were worn and getting thin.

A Lithuanian friend told me many years ago that in her language March comes from the word, "To fight."  It is a battle for renewal and rebirth.   I'm not really rooting for Spring like I usually do.  She doesn't need my help though.  She'll pull through like she always does.

Today I enter March without you.  Fighting.