Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, fast approaches. It begins sundown September 29 and ends the evening of September 30.

More importantly, September 29 is the anniversary of Lorin’s death.

If you are a believer, this is the day that God will forgive you, purify you and cleanse you of all your sins.

I am hoping that God or whatever Life Force there is will help me get through this day.

I fear the day. It will mark the end of all “firsts”: the first Thanksgiving without Lorin, the first Christmas without Lorin, the first Valentine’s Day, the first wedding anniversary, the first birthday, and so on.

This Day may bring a measure of closure, but of this, like everything else, I cannot be certain. I have learned there is no certainty and no security in life. I am accepting this without self-pity or a sense of hopelessness. It is my truth. I am living it.

My life is forever changed, having lost my “Lost One.” That’s what Lorin used to call me, referring to the short story “The Lost Ones” by Samuel Beckett. On September 29, I lost the love of my life, my favorite person in the world, my writing partner, and the one who understood me better than anyone ever has, and possibly ever will.  I will try to be happy and continue to write and pursue the dreams we had forged as “Team Sweetie,” but I am forever changed.

Do not pity me.

Love more.

 

 

If Mama Was Married

On Saturday I saw Mom for a pre-Mother’s Day visit. I brought her cookies, her favorite Yardley English Lavender soap, a card and a bouquet of peach-yellow roses.

She had some very exciting news to impart.

“I had a proposal of marriage,” she said.

“Wow. Really? From whom?”

“A younger man,” she said, flushing with excitement.

“Oh boy. Does he live here?”

“I don’t think so. Anyway, it’s all over now.”

“So you said ‘no’?”

“Yes, it was silly,” she said, still blushing.

“That’s very exciting, Mom. What does he look like?”

“Much younger, and very handsome. Bald.”

“Oh, my.”

We took a spin up and down the halls and into the day room.

“Make sure to point him out to me if you see him,” I said.

“Okay, but I don’t think he’s here anymore.”

I spotted some new male residents in her unit–one was bald and smiling, strapped into his wheelchair. I wondered if that was her new beau.

One of the aides said, “Hi, Katherine. So I heard you’re getting married.”

Mom smiled. “Isn’t it exciting?” I said to the aide.

We returned to her room and watched part of The Hustler on Turner Classic Movies and had coffee and cookies.

“You know what else?” she said, giddily. “He washed my face.”

“Isn’t that nice.”

“He said, ‘I wanted to see if you were wearing any makeup because you look so
young.’ ” She was giggling as she said this.

“And you weren’t wearing makeup.”

“No. I still can’t believe it,” she said.

I started to think she might be talking about her boyfriend from back in Milwaukee, the blond German one that she was so crazy about. I wasn’t sure, though.

It doesn’t matter. She was happy, ebullient, feeling cherished and attractive again. What could be wrong with that? And wouldn’t it be swell if Mama got married?