Clyde the Cat ate the Easter Bunny. I hate to inform you that it happened in the eight o’clock hour last night. The back door opened to let your King Charles Spaniel out, and there was Peter Cottontail laying on the patio deck like road kill. The death of the Easter Bunny was confirmed tonight when I saw shopping carts full of multi-colored peeps in the Hyvee clearance aisle; undelivered edibles, all hoping for tomorrow’s 75%-off Bunny Rescue program.
I miss you, Easter girl. It was on my heart to send you a note on January 27, your 33rd Birthday. My intent was to purchase six icy pink balloons and release them up toward heaven, but the day was met with 55 mile-an-hour winds and Wizard of Oz debris flying everywhere. When I told Sondra my sentimental plan she said, “Those balloons would end up in Mexico!” I told her I was just hoping for heaven.
As I cross the six-year anniversary since your Easter Sunday passing, I must say that I have absolutely no idea as to your whereabouts, other than heaven; I tell myself in my mind that it’s like you are on an extended trip to Europe, only farther and better. I would say that you are worry free, but my guess is your horror echoed across the cosmos the day your old Mom bought that peace symbol belt buckle. I’m sure by now some heavenly informant has told you I’ve been eyeing a pair of retro clogs…exactly like the ones I wore in eighth grade…and if those grommet belts with the Tandy Leather fringe come back in style,
Sweet Jesus…I’m in!
I think I’ve now exhausted every possible memorial option. That first year I did have that little table full of photos of you. Jose was so very kind to send me flowers the 23rd of every month for 12 solid months. I faithfully arranged them like a little shrine, candles included. My guess is if I still had my little statue of Michelangelo’s Pieta from my junior high visit to the famous masterpiece, I would have artfully arranged that with your photos, too. I was grateful for Jose’s generous gift, but equally thankful that the seasons of grief changed.
It was onward and upward to body piercing. You know all about your momoushka getting your single diamond stud pierced into the cartilage of my top left ear; enormous pomp and circumstance included. The seasons changed again and last fall in the quiet of a lunch break alone, I went back to Jon at Drunken Sailor to have a second double pierce put in my left ear lobe to match the double pierce from the old rebellious Tulane days. My theory was that I could then wear two pairs of your earrings at the same time, in loving memory of you. I told Jon that I’d been contemplating a nose pierce for several years running (in your memory, of course…). He told me when I was ready he would do it free of charge since your mom is a frequent flyer at his humble establishment. I did have a moment of clarity this month when I realized that with double piercings in two ear lobes, and one cartilage pierce, I have five holes in my head. And you know your Barbara Bush mom…I just wouldn’t want to look trashy!
As far as tattoos, your dad and brother seemed to have cornered that market…and I have refrained from the memorial tattoo. It was a momentary consideration when I saw a tattoo on the back of someone’s neck that looked like a keyhole. I don’t remember whether it was Joe or Cherie, but one of them said, “you don’t need another hole in your head!” As I type this my vote is Cherie said that, who has been my daughter-in-waiting in your absence….though Joe would not be far behind her in holding your mom back from insanity.
Tattoos rarely cross my mind, since as a calligrapher I know the property of ink and its propensity to feather into a hot mess when skin and water are involved. But just a few weeks ago I read
In French you don’t really say “I miss you, you say, “Tu me masques” which means “You are missing from me.”
I love that…you are missing from me and for a brief second I imagined it inked on my wrist in stunning calligraphy. But that momentary glee was dispelled by the knowledge of a chorus of friends chanting, “What the heck were you thinking?” So no tattoos, today.
Somewhere in the last year, my Baboushka, I realized that the best memorial to you is a life well lived. I don’t know when and where I official got myself up from the deep fog of grief, but gradually, ever so slowly, I did. For eight months running I’ve been studying night and day, doing all that I can to renew a 57-year-old life. In that four a.m. hour, when your mom used to wake up with the terror and loneliness of night closing in, I now flip open my dad’s iPad and cruise on over to lynda.com for yet another Adobe Suite tutorial. The end goal is not to win Photoshop Jeopardy, but to rebuild my life and career, and possess the computer skills that can take an idea in your mom’s head (which does not have too many holes in it) and translate it to stationery.
In those countless hours we had before your death, I did take notes on what you wanted; cards that said something other than “Get Well Soon.” You told me you wanted people to tell you that you were fierce, and Fierce girl is at the foundation of my stationery line that will launch within hours of this posting. She is a whole story in herself.
But it is now the 9 p.m. hour on Easter Sunday, Earth time. You are missing from me. I lack the energy to write a brilliant blog, and I am at a loss to say anything else tonight other than, “A life resurrected from grief and pain is our Easter story.”
My life no longer stands still, but races toward you. Oh, may I make you proud.
P.S. I ate some peeps in your memory.