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Entry date: 3-13-2023 - Monday the 13th (and Mary) - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


One of the perks of being a teacher is days like these. I didn't have to wake up at any particular time, nor do I have to do much of anything today unless I want to do so. Batteries can recharge for the last quarter. There really aren't any breaks between now and the end, so it's time to get ready for the home stretch.


Had some good family time yesterday and it was nice to see some people I don't get to see very often. We stopped by and visited with my granny for a little bit. I could see the pain in the kids faces and I wish there was something I could do to buffer them from what is coming. Granny, in a way, was telling them goodbye yesterday and it was hard to watch.


She wouldn't open the door for us. We stood in her door way and talked through the screen door. I don't know if she's more afraid of Covid or us seeing how she looks at this point. All I really know is I don't like that I may not get to see her, face to face, again. It hurts.


Eventually I will have a lot to say about her. I have written a few things already, but I am not ready to let them out just yet. Part of me says to just start writing and not stop until I feel better, but I'm not sure I can get my head around things just yet. I feel like my perspective needs to embrace the reality of situations that revolve around words like "Hospice" and "What more do I have to do?"


She's decided to stop holding on. I can't say that I blame her and hope that I have that courage at some point when the time is mine to say goodbye. Hopefully it will be on my own terms at the end of what has continued to be a good life. I'd like to think there has been enough good for my grandmother that she feels some solace right now.


Again, though, my focus right now is being here for the kids when the inevitable takes place. I thought I was going to have break more bad news as one of our old gentleman dogs did not answer my call this morning and I had to look all over the backyard to find him. I think he may have gone completely, or almost completely deaf, too. He looked so disoriented, too,


The term "gentleman" is a stretch for Bentley and Frank, but they deserve the twilight year(s...but hopefully not years) to be as good as possible, I suppose. I'm afraid they will hold out until I am in Maine and leave Ashton and Teresa to deal with them. That would be the worst for all involved.


So doomy and gloomy today. I didn't realize I was feeling this way when I sat down to write. Things have got to get better.


*****


It was definitely Jim's handwriting.


Connie sat down hard on the storage room floor, bruising her tailbone, but the pain didn't register. She'd feel it later and wonder what had happened. At that moment, though, her mind went to Jim.


The note was in her trembling hands. Connie read it over and over. Even though Jim had been gone for a long time, there was still a dull ache that occasionally surrounded her heart. Now it was throbbing and the pain of losing him was enveloping her body as quickly as her silent sobs racked her torso.


When he was still alive, Jim would often leave Connie little notes around the house. He would even slip them into her school bag so she would find them during the day sometimes at work. Jim was always thoughtful like that, taking care of her without needing to be asked. Even after his death, she was often finding things that he had done to make her life easier.


This note was something Jim would have done. Connie remembered a time when she had to deal with a snotty asshole from the cable company. He had left her a note on the fridge that day saying something like, "You got this, babe. Don't take any shit! Love you."


"Why?" Connie said out loud.


She repeated herself a few more times, wiping off the tears with the sleeve of her robe. She stood up slowly and grabbed a few things she knew she would need to take down the fans. For some reason, she put the note back in the tool box before closing it up. As much as she wanted to forget about this whole situation, she just couldn't turn her back on Mary. She knew she had to help, but there was something else.


She was also afraid.


(to be continued)


*****


See you tomorrow.



Maine is as beautiful as it gets.



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