Saturday, February 24


We walked in on the frozen stream, each step risking the breaking ice, but caring little. My mind was focused somewhere far beyond the crackling ice, and then on the vast openness before me. My eyes were quickly drawn to the barren tree protruding from the marsh. It stood alone, a smaller tree next to it, a child to a parent. It stood so tall and bare in this vast open space. I turned, watching mom walk into the marsh, towards the center, her blue jacket standing out above the golden grasses that covered the swamp, the snow not yet deep enough to cover them. The gold grass fluttered in the wind as mom crossed the marsh. I followed.

I stood in the middle, moved by the open world around me, watching the movement of the grass, watching the stomping steps Mom took, I closed my eyes, my body spinning or maybe just my mind. I felt Dad, I wanted Dad, it doesn't matter which one it is or was, he was there. My eyes were drawn down to the gold, up to the blue empty sky, I looked for Dad. Where are you? The wind slowed down and passed me softly. I followed my Mom's steps, stomping where she had. Watching the wind move the tall pines surrounding the marsh, watching Mom through piney branches of a bare tree. I turned back to the large tree in the center, my eyes fixed again. Why was it standing out so strongly when moments early and in moments again I would be surrounded by larger and older trees?

Mom sat on a branch once out of the swamp. "The pain is too much sometimes." We both cry, her more visibly than me. "But it’s too cold to sit here anymore."

Wednesday, February 21


I drive a little and then stop, taking the time to turn my head and look at the skyline to my left. The Empire State building stands out most for me, but I take it all in. Turning my eyes back to the traffic crossing the Whitestone Bridge to the tolls ahead. The sun bouncing off of cars around me, the snow shining icy in the light, the water, the cars, the skyline all swirling into my thoughts. The weekend. Seeing us sitting at dinner, seeing us walking out of apartments, already in agreement about what we'd seen, what we liked, what we didn't like. The traffic hardly even a bother as I sift through the thoughts.

I used to think, in the early parts of our relationship, will we really be able to keep finding things to talk about? Obviously we did, but it always baffled me. We always have/had something to talk about, we always keep each other entertained. I see us at dinner, sharing fondue, dipping pieces of food into a boiling pot and letting it cook, chatting as we wait, I don't even remember what about. Sharing sushi, talking about what we'll learn about each other when we live together, taken from Sex and the City- our secret single behaviors, and there isn't much we don't already know. How do we do it?

I think about moving, about what I'll bring, what I won't, packing up. I think about what I want the place to look like, what I've already fantasized it looking like in my head and trying to remind myself it won't be as good, maybe close. I inch further, realizing the back up is cars waiting to pay cash. Cash? Who pays cash at tolls anymore? I finally zip through and watch as the light changes, as the road changes from wide to the small tight compactness of the Merritt. The trees surrounding it bare and cold, the light sifting through them as it sets around my drive home.

Death Cab plays as my soundtrack, taking my thoughts to Dad, to death, to everything I've experienced and lived through, I'm sad, but then Mom calls and I'm not, I'm happy.

A friend at work told me about a time she was having a Reiki treatment done. She lay on the table, her mind blank except for this swirling image. After her treatment, she was speaking with the woman who'd done it and told her about the swirling image. The woman who had done her Reiki explained that she had seen the swirling, that her body had been giving that image off.

I wonder if mine is now.

Saturday, February 10

An Exerpt...

Driving home with Matt the first weekend of February, listening to Death Cab, my Mom’s new obsession- I’m sure my Dad would have liked them. She’s taken on so much of who he was, what he enjoyed. I think of Dad listening to the lyrics piped forth into the car. “I will follow you into the dark.” “Love is watching someone die.” I’m not anxious anymore when I make the drive home, but inevitably I focus on Dad. Later that night, Mom shows us poems for her book. Talks about experiencing Dad inside of her, feeling as if he’s right behind her eyes, like she’s seeing things for both of them. How close to the edge she’s come feeling as if she’s living for two. I think, "I need to make sure to write this all down". We order take out dinner from the pizza place down the street. “I always hated Louie’s,” she says, “Now I think I might like it, and Dad isn’t here to appreciate it. He always wanted Louie’s and I would nix it. You know what else I’ve been doing that I always told Dad not to, listening to music really loudly in the morning when I get ready for work. I would always tell Dad to shut it off because it would take me out of my focus zone for getting ready, and every 8 months or so he would test me again. Now I do it every morning.” It makes sense to me, her doing all these things- taking on how Dad was, what Dad did. It’s a way of keeping him alive, a way of keeping him present in this world.

Sunday, February 4


I walk to the platform, not caring that I just missed a train. I stand in front of an advertisement for diet prodcuts, not caring that I just had a liquid dinner, martinis instead of entrees. I put my headphones on and hit play on my IPod. A song too loud for my mood comes on, and a train pulls into the station. I sit down, scrolling through the playlist and see a song called, "Grace".

An eerie, yet beautifully melodic voice comes on, singing of love, of loss, of being on her "knees with only memories left to hold". Holy shit, I think, this is so it. "Turn my grief to Grace," She exclaims. I'm lost in her voice, her lyrics, how true they are to everything I'm going through, gone through. The play on words of grace and my Mom's name, Grace.

The train pulls into Porter station and climb out, selecting Grace again. I step onto the long escalator. One foot on the step above and let the lyrics pour into me. I'm lost in them, I'm lost in the movement of the escalator and the places the lyrics are taking my mind. Its the perfect combination of being and mind. I almost slide off of the top of the escalator, passing through the doors of the station and into the cold night. I walk with determination, hitting back once more on my IPod, passing once more into her voice, her story, her perfect connection to my experience. My steps are in line with her beat, my head in sync with her thoughts. "Its so fucking perfect," I think. My body connected to her voice, my steps almost outside of my body, but still connected to the rhythm.

Turn my grief to Grace.


I've been putting all my writing energy into a word document, instead of here. I'm writing a memoir, writing down the memories of my Dad's sickness and death. I'm focused, serious, into it. Its taking all my writing energy though, and I've been neglectful of all the other stuff in my head that wants to get written down. I don't want to post pieces of the memoir here, you already get pieces of it through my past and future entries, which is another reason I've been missing from here. But I've had a couple of things swimming in my head that keep coming up, so I'll post them as I procrastinate.