Wednesday, January 29, 2014


A professor dropped off a bag of books at the library this afternoon, saying, "I think these might be a little bit late."

They were due in September of 1972 and May of 1973.

I kid you not.

Monday, January 27, 2014


I got an email yesterday morning from our Bill letting us know that his Jill had died early Friday morning, finally losing her ongoing battle with cancer.

I spent the morning puttering: knitting, talking with Mom and Nathan, putting together a huge pot of soup to simmer on the stove, getting ready to eventually head down to his apartment and see what, if anything, there was for me to do.

Eventually I called Evan and was surprised to find myself bursting in to tears. I think he knew right away that Jill had died -- we've been expecting it for awhile now and it's been at the forefront of our almost daily conversations this last week. He asked if I was okay, and suddenly I was sobbing into the phone.

I said yes, mostly, and that I hadn't even really been crying much. Just in abrupt moments -- in the shower, chopping onions for the bean soup, right then on the phone. He paused and then said, with a warm smile in the sound of his voice, "So when it's been safe, you mean..."

I spent yesterday evening with Bill, mostly just sitting at opposite ends of his couch but also at the dining table with steaming bowls of home made bean soup (with enough left over for his lunch today), mostly just listening. There weren't any raw onions to cry over then, unfortunately, but he cried enough for the both of us and I was glad to be able to be his person, in those hours, to cry to.

If he'll have me, I am hoping to stop by again this afternoon, make sure he eats the rest of the soup, restock his refrigerator a bit, hear a little more about his Jill and the world he's lost. All the while knowing, thank God, that I have my boy's voice to come home to later tonight, to cry to if that's the way the day goes, and to know it's safe to do that.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

tropical january

I was traipsing along Bennett Avenue this morning, smiling in the wake of a particularly good therapy session and in anticipation of meeting a friend for our weekly walk up to the farmers' market. I was traipsing along and bundled up against the bitter cold when suddenly I caught a whiff of coconut. It was such an anomaly, what with the frigid temperature, the leafless clattering trees, the piles of graying snow and ice, that I stopped and looked around, sniffing.

It took me a moment to realize it was me, or more specifically the conditioner I used this morning and which I haven't used I think since the summer. Unexpected tropical moments in this polar vortex of a winter make for a not unpleasant early morning surprise.