Today’s letter to mom is on its way to Omaha. It made me sigh to leave my father’s name off the envelope and salutation line. But it’s okay. He’d want me to keep her – he called her ‘Babe’ to the very end – up to speed on life and family. No real change there. I mastered the mundane a long time ago.
I suppose now is as good a time as any to begin to softly ease her transition from grief to the rest of life. Nurses will read to her the short updates about her grandkids, how the embarrassingly small tomatoes are finally ready to be picked at long last, and sultry Southern temperatures and soggy humidity that make me whine like an alley cat. Maybe this will distract her from the thoughts I know she is having. If it lifts her spirits and suppresses whatever loneliness she feels for even a moment, so much the better. Watch out mom, letters are comin’.
On a secondary note, there is a silver lining to what has transpired. You know who your friends are when long lost buddies and classmates, relatives and local pals appear out of the woodwork at precisely the right time. I’m in the process of atoning for years of self-caused relational neglect. It allows me to mine an entirely new vein of opportunities for notes and letters. But more on that later.
July 9, 2010
Mom: As of this writing Ellen is still plugging away at finding a new job. She’s tired of the property management thing and really wants to get back to teaching. She was turned down for an ideal job last week but cousin Tim may have a line on something similar. She tries to keep her chin up and so far has done a good job of that. Keep your fingers crossed for the kid. She’s working hard at it. With her hubby Tim landing a new job at 3M, it’s kind of a safety net for her. She can take her time.
Reid is getting along pretty well in Chicago. He seems to be having a good time but in a town like that how could you not? His job seems fairly stabile (knock on wood) right now and that’s a switch from earlier this year. He has a girl friend although I don’t know much about her other than her name is Jackie. I’m apparently on a need to know basis so I don’t need to know. She’s originally from Des Moines. That is the sum total of my knowledge. So what else is new?
Tried to call the other day but they had you in some fun activity. That’s pretty cool. I really like the Glen and it seems to like you. Your room is bright and airy and the food is way better than what I’m gobbling up these days. At least you eat three squares a day. That’s better than a lot of us can say.
My tomatoes are, in a word, disappointing. I keep them moist but none of them are any bigger than a tennis ball. Maybe I’m not feeding them enough. But they do taste good. The variety is Better Boy. The heat has just been incredibly oppressive here and don’t get me started on the humidity. Just beastly in any sense of the word. I honestly can’t shower enough in the day. Took my noon hour walk today and was damp when I returned to my desk.
I’m going to try golfing again this weekend with my singles group. I am somewhat apprehensive about how I’ll hit it after a few weeks off, but a beer at the end of the round will be reward enough for me. It’s going to be very hot. Down here a person really ought to play in the morning but afternoon times work for the group because we have some slow players. Maybe they’re waiting on me and my lousy shots. I’ve got a trip to Pinehurst lined up with some guys from the office toward the end of the summer. That should be fun.
Well, I’d better get back to work lest they think I’m goofing off (hope they’re not watching too closely). Really miss seeing you but I’ll get back up there soon enough. Be good and also be nice to the staff. Hey, they’re the ones who bring you ice cream.