Minor MiraclesHi babe,
We went to a bbq with your family yesterday, and for one of the only times, it actually felt like...family. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to be together, no one rehashed old antagonisms or talked politics; everyone just sat around and enjoyed the company and the kids' playing and your dad's self-deprecating remarks about his golf game and his burgers. He read us a short letter he had published; I know how much more it would have meant to him to share it with you--his son, the gifted writer.
Your sisters were funny and not taking themselves too seriously, for a change. No one said anything critical of my parenting, our daughter's "long hair," or even of each other. Okay, maybe there was a little good-natured teasing. I wish you could have been there. I missed our eye-rolls when your dad said something Dad-ish, and your presence during the inevitable "we have to feed the kids weird kid food because they couldn't ever eat real food like we eat" ordeal. And I missed your playing driver when our daughter left Blankie behind and we had to return 30 minutes up the freeway to retrieve it, while she yelled all the while. But then, I pretty much miss you all the time.
If you were still here, would your family have learned this kind of niceness anyway? Do they hold each other a little closer because of what you taught us, because of what we have lost? I like to think so--that they recognize the magnitude of your loss--, but I know how you'd react to that kind of sentimentality. Still, I think your mom gets nervous; she likes to know where all her "chicks" are at any time, as if she could keep them all safe. And I am amazed that I can every let our little girl out of my sight; sometimes I get freaky and want to hole up in the basement with her and a year's provisions and a lifetime of "Law & Order." I won't do it--at least I don't think I am serious yet.
I'm becoming one of those crazy lonely women who talks to the pizza delivery guy and the bank teller because she has no one to listen to her mundane adventures. I talk to you in my head, too, of course; Goddammit, babe, why don't you answer me, even one time? It would help a lot. Really--a communique from the afterlife, even if you are drinking too much beer and watching autoracing, or spending all your time on Andrew Sullivan's blog trying to fathom the conservative mindset, would be much appreciated. Get on that, would you?
Loving you and missing you,