Happy Birthday, Sweetheart

Dearest Dan,

Hey, you’re probably in the middle of a bunch of projects. I know you’d never be happy any other way. Every once in a while, though, you’re probably sneaking a peek into your old world. I hope next time you do, someone will make sure you see this.
We miss you so much. Everything reminds me of you: the kids, shopping at Woodman’s, the Willy Street Fair, pumping my bike tires, testing the furnace to make sure there aren’t more dead mice in the ductwork. You missed a beautiful summer this year, but where you are I suppose it stays summer forever, whereas our nights are getting down in the thirties. Advantage: you.

I didn’t look at the finances until after you died; before, I just wanted to spend time with you. At first I tried seeing if the social worker from Hospice would give me a little direction, but after they stop getting insurance money, it was almost comical how quickly they disappeared. She didn’t even want to return my call. This guy from the bank named Doug stepped in and helped me get everything squared away. It turned out my best option was to keep the house and stay at my job. I was really glad to see this. Your insurance money paid off the mortgage and gave me a little nest egg for investments, an IRA and a health savings account. So don’t worry about our finances at all. You did good.

Danny’s at Ft. Hood in Texas, from what I can tell bored out of his skull. His unit just came back from overseas, so he’s likely to be stuck in Texas for more than a year. It’s nice that he’s safe, but I don’t think picking up trash around the base is his dream job.

Sam, I don’t know. He started going to MATC, but that’s stalled out now. He’s got the car, a county grant for scholarship money, food stamps, and a bank account with a couple thousand dollars in it. But all he wants to do is hole up in his room and diddle around on the internet. Sometimes he just goes in your old room and stands there. If you can pull some strings on just one thing, please, this would be it. He was doing okay last spring, but now I’m worried.

I’m fine, of course. Haven’t been sick in years, still keeping up the running and gardening and writing, basically happy. People have been very kind to me. Especially at work, where they’ve given me more hours, a raise and free health insurance. (Catastrophic insurance, that is, the kind with a bazillion dollar deductible. But good enough.)

I hope you’re happy wherever you are. I’m so glad you don’t have to be sick any more. But I really, really miss you, and with it being your birthday I wanted to talk to you more than anything in the world.

Love and hugs and kisses,

Cathy

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