A Familiar Ache

Hi Buddy,

I have been remiss in writing.  Life has not gone stagnant, still or quiet.  It continues to be gloriously full and wonderful, joyful, and loving; as loud as ever.  Our little family chugs through it all eating our chicken soup, Os, eggies, thousands of grapes, taking fish oil capsules, vitamins each morning and  red wine at night.  Less of that, now that Uncle AJ is gone.  He used to finish off the bottle after we went to bed.  He’d eat all the cookies, finish off the raisin bran and munch through the left overs. He moved out of the garage attic, and out of the country.  He’s in Brazil by now, looking for an apartment, a job and getting settled for a least a year, he plans.  He left a few things, old shirts, his baseball card collection, a Walkman and his gaming system.  I told him I’d sell his surfboard, his wetsuit and find homes for the old shirts.  He sold his car.  The place he disheveled inside me leans on my stomach, presses against my lungs, scrapes at my heart.  Its like when you moved to Montana.

Uncle AJ holds a place inside me much like the one you occupy.  It feels important and weaves through my cells and fibers.  I ache for him. And also expect him to grow up some.  I think of that because as he slogged his way to the outdoor luggage check, he turned back to me and called, “Don’t I look cool with this skateboard hanging off my pack? Here comes a California guy.” He’s taking his new credential to teach English in Sao Paulo.

4am printing itinerary

Uncle AJ understands that you have a special hold on me.  He asked me not to invite you to his going away dinner.  Mom, he explained, I want all of your attention.  You know?”  Wise fellow he is.  Good self-protective skills.  Okay, enough of that.

Your tent is a heap of debris, your mom in school (one class to begin with), daddy security guarding for special events and home doing something or another (but not the winter firewood, I notice) the other days taking mom to doctors appointments.  When mom feel like she’s disappearing she goes to doctor appointments.  Pain pills are always the result.  Liza comes here two days a week while you are at your preschool. I give you each a bath as a routine. Wash your clothes and brush your toofers. One set of days mom went to the college in her flannel pajamas, you went to school in dirty pants worn the previous 5 days and Ellie was so, so hungry. I’d been too busy to get to it all.  And last night I finally did and Yewie, you needed it.  Ellie held me tightly for a few hours, humming and laying her head with longing on my shoulder. What does change require?  Is it possible?  I have to believe so. Don’t I?  Sickened with hopelessness, leaving me ragged. And appreciating the moments that I was vaguely hopeful. Again soon maybe.  love gma

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