I have no words. I ran out. The kettle is empty. I’m spoilt.
I don’t want to write so Nellie Negative.
I feel time’s ticks.
Any free moment I have when the house is empty—Claudio or Gilma take my love monkeys away—I crawl in bed, my soft sheets, a bed in daylight, and cry for her. Momma Bean—only since August, I grieve so much for her, not her death as much as what she left undone. She was undone. Her last years—let’s say her 24 last years she was already gone, but not gone, Momma Bean grief—it is slow and relentless and winds its way down, around and through me. My busy life can’t hold it. It sneaks in sideways, comes upon me on awakening, more so after a mid-day nap: Momma Bean is gone.
It still takes my breath away. I feel both hurried and calm—it won’t stop. She’ll be gone now. She’s gone. I’ve lost folk before, but she was gone so long before she ever left—I grieve her gone-ness, how she was already past due after Floyd died.
Or maybe the truth of it I was gone, a latch-key daughter in California: I was long gone.
Those I am with now are my three, my trio, my triage, my trinity: Claudio, Sofia, Lily. Our home has so many windows, such light, I sleep in with them, guiltlessly. I should be up and doing yoga, writing, walking the dog, writing. I should. But I luxuriate, I breath in, I pull the covers to my chin, all white sheets, soft and cool. I watch Lily sleep. I rest. I quit coffee because last week my writing sounded so jagged and when I met a friend in Whole Foods the way she quirked her head at me while I spazzed on about something made me realize I crossed a line: seven shots of coffee are too much.
I ask God for guidance and help, I pray in a constant conversation, but really, my Ruby Slippers shine.
“Claudio,” I say, “I hope we both realize, as far as incarnations go, we hit the human jackpot.”
Maybe I’m too easy on myself. I should jog, join a grief group, cry more. I try to sit still for thirty minutes when I first wake in a prayer meditation, calm the detoxing-caffeine brain, come home. Lily bloodhounds me, puts her head in my lap, prays quietly while I meditate.
Sofia wakes and yells out, “I dreamt I was a white slave, mom! A rich girl helped me survive by unlocking a door, hiding me from the mean master. You were at an Alanon meeting and I came to find you and told them all how the stranger saved me. She didn’t’ say a word. I was so grateful, Mom. I was sobbing. A total stranger saved my life. Isn’t that amazing?”
We four dress, put on merry hats, the Pomeranian on a leash and Lily leads us on a walk around the hill. It’s how I live in this moment with a kind husband, he apologizes, he is courtesy itself, he leads the pack of us from the back, as all Wolf leaders do. A stranger in a mini-cooper calls out, “Watch out! Move!” when a car could hit us on a blind corner, saving our lives.
Claudio carries his morning coffee, teaches Lily not to take all the neighbor flowers for her fairy garden, Foxy Pomeranian needs a bath when we arrive home so we put her in an industrial cow-looking thing we put ice in with pop cans at parties and Claudio runs warm water from the faucet.
So much life I can’t stop to write or do much of anything, save my family, save my family.