Ostara and the Moon of Mourning

Thursday gratefuls: Kate on our wedding day, beautiful. Kate and I on the Panam flight to Rome. Visiting the popeteria with her and discovering tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Evergreen Mortuary. Cremation. Joe teaching me how to deposit checks by photograph. Seoah’s treat last night. Prostate cancer. Dr. Eigner.

Sparks of joy: The Sun. Blue Sky. Kate.

A dress Kate made from Ruth’s sketch

Echocardiogram yesterday. Noah. I remember you did mine a while back. Wow, good memory, that was in 2015. You were kind.

Dr. Emrie called later in the day to say my heart was normal. No sign of post-polio complications. Always good to hear that my heart is doing ok.

Money guy today. Transfer of the IRA into my name, looking at my income needs going forward. I lose my Social Security, but retain Kate’s higher one. I also lose a third of my pension. That surprised me. Total income loss, about $18,000. Working with the numbers right now. Not gonna be poor, not at all, but I’ll have to see how much my current budget can absorb of that hit. Might require some major adjustments. But, not right now.

Oncologist tomorrow. See what we’ll do with that nasty PSA number. I’m pretty sure Lupron will be on the table again. Possibly, other drugs. Hot flashes and fatigue here we come.

This morning Joseph and I drive over to the Evergreen Mortuary and pick up Kate’s ashes, death certificates. Gonna be a hard ride, I imagine. Mine to do, however.

I have a spot on the beautiful walnut shelf Jon made for me, below his print, Beach, that I have on the wall. It holds a large jar, a Richard Bresnahan work, with a lid. Looks a bit like the jars that held the Dead Sea Scrolls, though shorter. On it is a large whoosh of gray and reddish brown, what Bresnahan called its flame narrative. Her ashes will go in there.

On the shelf, too, are her signature red glasses, her tiara from her 75th birthday, and the shirt I wore on our first date, now ripped, never to be worn again. A small shrine in her honor, an idea I got from Jimmy Johnson.

Later in the summer, on August 18th, which would have been her 77th birthday, family and friends will gather. We will dedicate a new iris bed I’m having built. It will take half of her ashes at her request. Purple irises. We’ll also dedicate a new planting of lilacs somewhere on our property. Yet to be determined. Also a last request.

Then, we’ll move to a trail that runs above the Maxwell Falls trail to scatter about half of her remaining ashes at the base of a tree or rock all find appropriate for her. A place to return to. As will be the iris garden and the lilacs.

The other quarter of her ashes? Will await mine.


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