One’s body acknowledges it even if one doesn’t wish to. I feel nauseous as we check out our books and leave the library to walk home in the cold. Walking down the steep hill from the library, I can see the Hudson River and the buildings on the other side. It is cold, still, and hazy white with a touch of peach up in the sky.
At the front of our building, while Audrey touches the remaining snow, I read an email from a friend on your iPhone: “It’s been half a year, hasn’t it been?”
This is the friend who emails me faithfully each day- but in fact, I barely knew before this.
But I am shocked. The power of words- I had been calling it six months- a half a year feels stronger.
My eyes tear up and I see you coming towards me. You’ve just gotten off of the bus and you’re smiling.
It’s funny…I realize lately with the cold weather, I see you in your winter clothes. I would’ve thought you would stay in your summer T-shirts- the ones of my early visualizations…but it seems you accommodate the weather too. Lately you wear your grey flannel shirt and the green down coat I bought you after yours was torn when you were stabbed in the subway.
We eat grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch. Audrey feeds your picture some. I tell her that you loved grilled cheese and used to make it for us and she nods her head as though she remembers. “Do you remember?” I ask. She nods again. This makes me cry quietly though I don’t think she sees, and she says, “Mommy’s c’wyin cause appa diiiied.”
Then I explain to her that today is significant because it is six months since you died.
I decide to take a candle in a holder an aunt just gave to me for Christmas and light it for a few moments. I usually don’t light candles because I have a fear of lighting matches, but I do it over the sink- while thinking, “Isn’t water supposed to make fires worse? Or is that a certain kind?’
On my second match, I’ve lit it successfully and Audrey puts down her grilled cheese thinking it’s a birthday cake.
I sing two verses of Amazing Grace and Audrey interrupts, “Mommy, you’re a good singa.”
“Thank you honey.”
Then I tell you that we miss you and we love you.
Audrey tries very hard to blow out the candle but cannot, so I help.
“Now we eat it!” she says- still thinking there’s cake involved somehow.
We do miss you dear- so very much. It is incomprehensible.