Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Back in the USSR

First day in and doing okay. I didn’t expect to feel this settled, and it’s not in a resigned sort of way either. It’s matter of fact and business-like. It’s just being done. Last night (Wednesday night), I made train reservations online for the first time after buying them over the phone for several years. I also bought a cell phone and plan after scouting online all day, but that was purchased over the phone. Nice folks—Working Assets Wireless. Tell them I sent you. I went grocery shopping with a list that no one else had made (don’t tell Brooke), and I spent a hideous amount of money, none of it my own. The health food store here has all organic produce, but all of it was wilting or rotting or otherwise gross. Four dollars (!!) went toward mixed spring greens. I also cooked (again, no fair telling) a fairly substantial meal of which Dad took three helpings. I had forgotten what a big eater he is for such a small person—I may outweigh him, and that’s impressive.

They—using such a term rather loosely—recently bought a new television.

“What’s wrong with the other one?”
“It’s fine,” Mom shrugged, “Dad wants to replace the TV at the cabin.”
“…And take the TV here up north.”

So I had to help my father devise a plan for heaving this “silver” and black monstrosity onto the new TV table, conveniently manufactured just for this television. It fits onto the table with less than a quarter of an inch of wiggle room, and, if lifted improperly, could have imposed a temporary caregiver role swap amongst Mom, Dad, and me. Now that it’s on the table and secured with ridges and bolts and bumpers, it actually looks kind of nice. I am never, ever lifting that thing again, and if they want it moved, they know not to call me.

I organized my stuff in the bathroom, my body tending to favor the left side of the sink, as that was my side when Paul and I lived here, and when Didi, our German exchange student, lived here with me. Now that it’s just my folks and their cats, one of the cats sleeps on a towel on the right side of the bathroom counter. That might have more to do with my favoring the left. He’s been known to bat things off the counter or into the sink during the night, so my jewelry was tucked into a drawer. I’m concerned about my toothbrush falling on the floor and being sat on, but not enough to rig a sanitary toothbrush holder in the drawer. I may feel differently about that in the morning.


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