Six Months

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.

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