Numbers

My mom used to always let us know when there were fun patterns with times or dates.

It’s stuck with me and so I often notice some significance to a date: a palindrome, an oddity, or a fun pattern.

For instance, two years from today it will be 2/22/22.

You won’t have to remind me.

I always remember February 22. That was the day, fourteen years ago, when Elena died suddenly.

2/22/06

And today we have reached a significant date.

Elena has been gone twice as long as she lived.

As lucky as I feel to have been her dad, I feel cheated for all the things she never saw.

All the things she never experienced.

The person she never got to be.

This year Kim and I would be preparing for Elena’s college graduation.

Except neither one of them is still with us.

2/22/2020

Published in: on February 22, 2020 at 10:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Kim’s Bed

I spent the night of Valentine’s Day on the couch.

I thought back 28 years to the day that Kim said she’d marry me.

Actually, she didn’t exactly say she would. She signed it to me. I met her after church in a diner for breakfast and she agreed to marry me.

I celebrated with corned beef hash. She ordered the pecan waffles.

She shook her head when the waitress offered me the coffee.

We would go and have better coffee somewhere else later.

Kim had a Shaker bed that she moved into our house at the end of May when she gave up her apartment and moved back in with her parents.

We were married in August and that was the bed the dog jumped onto to join us each night.

Our first Christmas I decorated the bed with lights while Kim was finishing decorating the tree.

It was big enough to hold me, nine-months pregnant Kim with a full body pillow, and the dog.

But somehow we decided to accept a Queen size bed when it was offered to us.

That was the bed we moved from the house on 128th street to our current house.

I’d forgotten that the frame wouldn’t fit up the stairs until Valentine’s Day.

That was the day I took it back apart.

I’d found someone who would take it. Someone who needed a bed.

So I took it apart and started to bring the pieces down.

Somehow I’d gotten the pick-up day wrong.

The frame wouldn’t fit down the stairs.

And that’s when I remembered we’d had to bring it up the porch from outside and through the porch door.

So that’s the way it went out. I lowered it from the porch and carried it around and brought it back in the house.

I went upstairs and swept up the dog hair that had been way way under the bed.

And then I had lifted and moved enough for one day.

I slept on the couch that night. Valentine’s Day night. I wasn’t sad to be giving away the bed. There were a lot of great memories associated with it – but it wasn’t that sort of bed.

“Tonight,” I thought, “I’ll sleep on the couch. Tomorrow I’ll be back in Kim’s bed.”

I smiled and went to sleep.

The puppy slept across the room on her favorite chair.

The next day I took Kim’s bed apart, cleaned it off, brought it downstairs, and set it back up again.

I found sheets that fit. Washed them and made the bed.

All this would have been easier with Kim here to help.

All this would have gone quicker as we told stories and exchanged memories.

The day ended and the dog sat at the top of the stairs impatiently waiting for me to come up and go to bed.

I did.

I flipped on the light in the bedroom and watched her struggle to jump on. The bed was smaller but a little taller.

She jumped off and the second time jumping on went easier for her.

She settled at the foot of the bed on Kim’s side.

I don’t remember even turning over. I fell asleep immediately. Smiling. Back in Kim’s bed.

Published in: on February 16, 2020 at 3:53 pm  Comments (1)