Today I remember how fast he went after the vet pushed the needle, how his small head fit in my hand, how soft his body was as I laid him down in the sandy dirt.Today I look from my upstairs window and see the stones upon his grave.
Today I miss my cat. I miss my grandma. I miss all our old ladies, Connie and Nancy and Alice and Dottie. I miss their frosted hair and their unblotted lipstick, their powdery cheeks, the soft accents of their childhoods in eighty year old voices, their love for us.Today I cook from my grandma’s recipe card, bent on the corners and with parts crossed out and written over, and I want to ask her questions. I imagine the corded, dial phone receiver in her quick hand, the enamel on her pefect fingernails, the brisk efficiency of her answers.
Today I roast meat and clean vegetables and pick raspberries and bake a cake. Today I will peel the skins from the blood red beets. Today I feed the living.Today I think of Shivah and Kaddish, of monks chanting, of the Mass of Christian Burial. Today I feel how our love holds aloft those who are leaving this world, and how the holding makes our hearts heavy and our bodies slow. Today I think how much a body wants to live. I feel how I ran for miles and miles this week, up hills and towards mountains, how I trained with my friends until my muscles cramped and I fell down, how I will do it again and again so long as my heart beats because I want to live too.
Today I think of how long ago my heart was broken and how much it hurts to knit it back together. I feel how each person I love holds a sharp bright shard and hands it back to me on an open palm. I think of the word “weathering” which my daughter taught me again, how the years and elements can wear a hard thing down. I think of the hard bright shell of courage and terror I’ve worn these many years, how my wife has weathered it. How now it seems to split open like a geode with a gentle, well placed tap.Today I want to write my therapist a letter and tell her I’ve replaced her with a Magic 8 Ball. I want to tell her I polled my Facebook friends and they affirm that “ripped abs” is a better goal than “self actualization” anyway. Today I want to say enough with understanding the cause of my unhappiness, the time for words is through. It is time to lie down in the sun nose to nose with the hurting being of myself. It is time to cup my palm on the bony skull of all I have been asked to let go. It is time to feel the jagged edges of my broken heart lacerating my own chest. It is time to weep. Because it is time to live.
Today is everyday.