Posts tagged with #writing

After 24 days of holding out hope that some troubling symptoms were curable, followed by 22 days of watching the realities of an awful incurable brain disease take shape, my mom died Tuesday evening. My dad, my brother, and I were close by when she passed on December 20th, 2016.

The 46 days leading up to this event have been heart-wrenching. Watching someone you love suffer and wither away before your eyes is an experience I hope none of you have to face. And if you’ve done that already: my deepest condolences from a place of unfortunate understanding.

Christmas 2012

I’ve been fearing the death of my parents since I was ten or so. I was probably more tuned into it than most thanks to my Mom’s sense of morbid reality — like when she reminded us during the Christmas of 1988 that we should talk with our grandmother in Australia because she “doesn’t have much time left.” And then reminding us again in 1989, 1990, 1991, and the next fourteen Christmases until she died in 2006. You’d think that after a lifetime of thinking about death, I’d be more ready for it. But who is ever ready for this?

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I’m 33 years old, and I enjoy talking on the telephone. There aren’t many of us left — my generation has fully embraced texting. Not just embraced, either, but essentially substituted all former phone communication with text messages.

I accept this as a reality of modern society when it comes to easily communicating with platonic friends. And in the cases of just needing to tell someone I’ll be a few minutes late, I welcome it. But with dating — especially in the early stages — I find text-only communication incredibly frustrating.

My attempts at talking to dates and potential dates on the phone have only been met with friction. I met a girl at a bookstore once, and we chatted for a while. She gave me her phone number, and told me to call her sometime. So I called her, only to have her say “Why are you calling me? Who talks on the phone anymore?”

I do. The 33 year old unicorn.

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Everyone’s head turned and followed your path when you entered the room. While they all turned back to their meals and conversations after you passed, you landed a couple of tables away from me and we locked eyes for a few magical seconds.

I was the tall blonde bearded man wearing tortoise shell glasses and a green, blue and white checked shirt. You were petite, with well-kept gray and brown feathers, and a lovely long black beak.

I must have looked silly sitting there frozen with my fork full of salad, inches from my open mouth, but I really wasn’t expecting you to capture my gaze so fully. Looking into your glossy black diamond eyes felt so familiar—I swear I’ve seen you before.

Do you ever perch in the ash trees in the Central Market parking lot? I drive the blue Acura.

I doubt you’ll ever see this, but in the slight chance you do, I wanted you to know that you have magnificent poise, a captivating presence, and remarkable courage. I have never seen another bird—male or female, big or small—get so close to a human wielding a plastic knife and fork, so obviously prepared to crush your beautifully slender body and pick out your little eyes if given the chance.

You probably get this all the time, but you truly are a bird of a different feather. To demonstrate such fearlessness for a few stray crumbs of cornbread and an abandoned sweet potato fry really makes me wonder how you live the rest of your life.

I’d love to find out.