Little black book.

The heavens have aligned (even though I chose to attend the church of St. Mattress this morning) and Ella is going to school tomorrow.  Good for her, even better for me.  I have given up on housework because I can’t seem to make any headway so why bother, right?  And, Amelia plays really well by herself so tomorrow ought to be productive.  The key word here?  Ought. 

I’ve caught the sewing bug again which I see as a good sign that my personal fog/funk/crankiness is ending.  When Amelia went down for a nap today I asked Ella what she was wearing to school and she replies that she wants to wear a twirly skirt.  My little yoga pants girl wants an actual twirly skirt?  Sure!  We didn’t buy one on our many, many shopping trips so we make a voyage into my sewing area to look at patterns.  She’s going to be a pattern ho just like me, I can feel it.  She pored through my Ottobre mags, Kwik Sew envelopes and Farbenmix patterns for more than an hour.  We looked at each one (even the patterns for the boys).  Know what she chose?  Probably the easiest one around, the Olivia from Farbenmix/Studio Tantrum.  But just the underdress with the hood (and leggings too, mommy) though.  Fine with me!  I’m on it.  She chooses the fabric for the main dress out of the 4 choices that I gave her.  It’s going to be bright, that’s for sure. 

The afternoon got away from us and the dress is just now cut out.  School is in 11 hours.  And, after her bath, I tried to hustle the littles to the basement so I could work some more.  Ella balked and I told her that I needed to work on her dress to finish it for school.  Know what she says? 

I am *not wearing that to school.  What?  *That* is not a school dress.  It’s for a playdate.  Fine.

I still have the sewing bug and hope to finish the in the next day or so.  I’ll post modeling pics for sure.  It’s such a cute dress with tons of possibilities.  Amelia has one that one of the Divas made for her and she gets tons of compliments on it.  I have personally never made one even though I’ve had the pattern since last fall (as part of my post-ambien shopping sprees). 

So, it would appear that summer is over.  The weather has begun its cool-down.  The nights are downright chilly even though I know that I will probably have to run the a/c at least one more time.  That’s just the way it goes.  One last really warm and stick blast and then that’s it.  Last night I opened up the house to air out the funk.  And, much like the first good summer thunderstorm and the first warm-ish spring night, I know that I would have had a naked night in the sheets.  Funny how only 6 years together and it was still a predictable pattern.  He loved having the house open, airing out the funk.  That’s what I think of, a year later.

One year ago tomorrow he had his very last chemo treatment, his fifth.  He also, one year ago, wrote out his final wishes.  We had gotten back from my brother’s wedding in Texas.  I don’t know if he was feeling something coming.  But I do know that he wasn’t sleeping.  He would pass out early and then wake at 3 or 4 in the morning, up for the day.  I blame the steroids.  He had a little black book.  He also wrote everything that he wanted to do with his life.  It was a kind of Road Tasted/Feasing on Asphalt kind of travel tour.  He wanted to travel and see and do and eat.  He wanted to take the kids to Disney.  He wanted to take me to Alaska.  He did none of it.  He also, on the opposite end of the book, wrote out his funeral wishes, his end of life care, who makes decisions, the funeral lunch menu (always the caterer), where things were.  I remember reading it, the second night at the Mayo clinic.  He asked me to bring it when I packed his things to take to the hospital.  You know, just in case.  And then he wanted me to read it to see if he missed anything.  Which I did with the distance of copy-editing the school paper.  It’s just words.  Words making sentences. 

And I never read it again.  Never processed.  Carried it around but felt like it was too, um, final?  That’s not the right word.  Depressing.  Hopeless.  Devastating.  But I never asked about its contents, never wanted clarification…until it was too late.  And I was on the phone with the caterer (his former employer) reading off the menu.  And I was meeting with the funeral director with all eyes on me…my parents, my sister, his brother, his parents, his step-parents.  All looking to me for answers. 

And all I had was a book.  And a white gold wedding band in a ziplock baggie.

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2 thoughts on “Little black book.

  1. You never fail to make me think. And smile. And cry. Such a happy, sweet post about the dress, but we have to always remember what’s still there, beneath the day-to-day. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. My husband lost his job six days ago, and has never been out of work one minute in our 25 years of marriage. We have zero savings. But we have each other. I’m lucky. (Him, maybe not so much.) All the trite and supposedly helpful things people say to you, “You’re lucky you had him for a while,” “You’re lucky to have the littles,” don’t mean a thing when you think of the book and the ring. I wish I could give him back to you, for just one more day. HUGS.

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