A few months ago I finally got a good steamer pot. I’d been proud of myself for many years to be able to steam an artichoke in other ways. I can steam it in the microwave. I figured out a way to steam it without a steamer basket. It’s always worth the effort. But I’m finally “growing up” and trying to get the best parts of your kitchen duplicated. That included the good steamer pot.

Tonight’s dinner was 100% things you taught me. First we had spaghetti using sauce that I’d doctored. I saved most of mine for lunches this week.

Besides. I got myself two big fat artichokes that I had to leave room for.

They’re just such strong memories. I remember your steamer pot, what the lid looks like, where you stood at the stove. I remember I always wanted more than my artichoke provided.

But now I’m an “adult.” I’m almost 40 and I still don’t know my ass from my elbow. But I got me a nice big steamer pot. And I made myself two artichokes.

The Box

Today your remains arrived in a box. It’s a small box, about the size of a box a pair of shoes would come in. You weigh only a pound or two.

I had husband put the box in the closet where I can’t see you. I’m not ready to look at you yet.

Monica and I are both going to have part of you. We will also share your watch.

I don’t know how to deal with this. When I said goodbye to you and dealt with the emotional feelings that it caused, I was under the impression that I had dealt with it all.

And then you died. You died in your sleep. It was the best way you could have gone. I was terrified you were going to have another seizure, or something equally terrifying for your partner to witness. So in that sense, I’m glad things went the way they did.

But I’m all fucked up in the head now. I miss you. I can still hear your voice in my head and sometimes when I yell. I want my birthday kazoo. I want you being pissed off at me for something stupid that I’m mad you’re pissed.

And I can’t have any of that anymore. Why in the hell do I miss you being MAD at me? Of all of the shit to miss, that seems like the most stupid.

I just don’t know how to deal with it all. I’m waiting to get into therapy.

It just fits so damned much that even in your death you’re difficult and fucking with my head and upsetting me.

I don’t want to miss you anymore.

I’m A Gnu 

I do crosswords all the time, you know. You taught me the secrets. All of the little tricks on how to solve the puzzle. So each puzzle reminds me of you. 

Tonight’s puzzle includes the word “gnu,” and I just started humming that song & I don’t remember where it’s even from. Did we make it up? 

Anyway, then I missed you just so much. I want to know how you’re doing but I have to really push for details & that’s so hard to do. 

I miss you. I’m a gnu. 

I almost got fired today. I almost quit today.

Today my job was threatened. I didn’t take it well. Then I almost quit.

I just kept thinking of the day I quit working for you. I hated you so much that day. And for so long after. I’m still so hurt.

You’ve hurt me so many times, Mommy. It’s the exact fucking opposite of what you’re supposed to do. I was only brave enough to tell you that you’d hurt me a few times and that was such a huge mistake, too. You hurt me more then.

I’m also thinking about the things in your life that broke you. Something had to just go so wrong. I know that inside you are broken like I am, but something else happened. The biggest things I can think of besides when Daddy left is that you lost all three of your parents. The worst was your dad.

And I just keep thinking that you’ll have all three of them again.

I found out today you’re being given morphine for your stress. I just keep thinking about how people usually talk about assisted suicide. It always involves morphine. Is this it? Is this your end?

I hate that I can’t talk to you. I fucking hate it.

Apples & Sewing

Yesterday had me thinking of you a lot. Just all the time I think about you now. The two biggest things about yesterday that made me think of you were eating our apple slices for the New Year (Happy 5777! Party like it’s 5799!), and I told husband all about how it was a tradition you and I had taken part of with whatever temple we belonged to for as long as I can remember. It has always been and will always be something that makes me think of you.

The other was sewing. When we moved in, the windows all had curtains but they’re all like 2 feet longer than the windows and they look stupid and the kitten spent about 6 months trying to kill all of them violently. It’s been an incredibly long project but I’ve been slowly hemming them all since we moved here. Last night I took care of another curtain. Every step of the way you were in my mind, gently walking me through the correct way to do everything. “Clean the bobbin chute while you have the reel out. Put in your first stitches manually so your threads don’t pull out. Watch your fingers. You see this nail? I put a machine needle though this nail.”

You know, to this day, I have no idea if that story is even real or not.

But now, I suppose it will always have to be.