The parents’ dogs wake everybody up at 5am. They must be really restless. My dad gets up for work again. I have some oatmeal to try to feel routine. And some of your poppy seed muffin. It’s all dry to my mouth. I can’t make it the same as I would at home. Our home. You always made our home feel warm and cozy. The dogs finally settle down and I curl up in my spot on the recliner again, this time with your pillow and the blanket that you gave my mom.
I doze. I dream bits and pieces of you. I think I hear your whistle, as you would do when I was working and you needed something. Why didn’t I check on you earlier? I just thought you were asleep. You needed rest, your body was in pain. But I should have felt something was wrong. Why didn’t I know something was wrong? Could I have done something? I don’t understand. Everybody tells me it’s not my fault. Is it my fault? Please tell me. Please forgive me. I was supposed to take care of you.
Is it still morning? Why is time going so slow? But is that what I wanted? It doesn’t make any sense. You should be here. I should be there. Why are we not together. Mom wants us to go to brunch. We decide on Penfolds. You loved that place, with Kristen when she came down to visit. We always had so much leftovers. You know I loved leftovers. We always shared everything. I can’t eat much today, but I try.
We’re heading up to your family’s house. I have to pick up a few more things from our room. I take a few clean blankets, the unicorns and a leopard. And your bathrobe. I kneel down by the bed again. I had to use the bathroom. Your things are all still there, waiting for you to come back. I don’t know what to do with myself for a few minutes. I want you to come in the door and tell me it’s all okay. Where have you gone?
The house is busy. They just had new carpet put in, and repainted stuff. The old couch and loveseat are up for sale. New dressers are here, other things will come later. I arrive just when Mom and D get back from something. Your brother too. We hug. You loved his daughter like your own. We have a moment. But he knows you want us to be okay. We have to try for you. It’s hard.
We get busy moving furniture around. It’s good to keep our hands busy. C is working the hardest, but I can tell he’s over-extended. He takes breaks at least. L arrives to help too. Brother is being the electrician and entertainment tech. Mom’s dresser is way too tall to put her big TV on. They’ll have to figure something else out. S is doing well in her speech therapy class, naming shapes and things. J arrives with her a bit later. S is being “flirty” with me again. You always said that too. [S is our niece, about 3 years old at this point.]
Some of my family arranged a meal delivery. It was sweet of them to do. Dahlia’s Italian. It’s very good. Way more food than we can handle, but we all enjoy some. You would have liked the garlic bread the most. I liked the lasagna. Mon and D got pizza from the place one time. I have a beer. It doesn’t taste like anything, but it helps a little.
I talk with M outside for a little while. She’s been so helpful for your mom. Even though she’s not a very verbal person right now. I know she’s hurting so much for you. And your dad too. He took it the worst that night. But we all have to cope in our ways. It’s still not fair. Why can’t you come back to us? I wish that the doctors had done more. Could they have? Could I? What was it, what happened? We won’t know for weeks. The coroner said it could take even a month or more. I guess they want to be sure. It’s just not fair. I want an answer. But I don’t know if it will help. Would they tell me a time? I didn’t ask yet.