Friday, November 21, 2014


Earlier this week I was puttering in the kitchen, putting away clean dishes, wiping down the counters, doing the work of keeping my living space habitable. I had NPR on, my frequent companion throughout the day. I was listening to an interview with Norman Lear, the producer of 1970s television shows such as All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons and so on. It was a good interview. Lear is a fascinating man who made no bones about using television as a tool for social justice and the interviewer, Terry Gross, asks good questions. I was enjoying it.

And all of a sudden I was sobbing.

Kevin loved television. He was shaped by the shows he watched as a boy as so many of us are, only he wasn't afraid to admit it. He told stories about watching tv with his grandfather who was mostly blind. How the shows they watched together shaped their relationship and the world. How he learned to be a man from some of those shows.

In an instant I went from a passably good mood and competence to the cold kitchen tiles, wailing. I never liked many of those shows until Kevin taught me how to watch them, helped me understand how revolutionary they were. The association was overwhelming. I wanted him here, now, listening to this with me and talking about it after. I wanted him helping with dishes. I could see him leaning on the counter as he had so many times. I remembered the last time he leaned on the counter as I washed dishes. He said he wished he could help more, but he was feeling terrible. I told him it was okay, when he was better he could do dishes for days. He was diagnosed three days later. He never did dishes again.

After awhile I got up from the floor. I blew my nose. I put the kettle on. I finished putting dishes away. I made a cup of tea.

That's what my life is like now. The world is full of emotional mines, triggers that make me explode without warning. All I can do is ride it. Notice it. Cherish the memories and then take a breath and another. Until the next time.

(34 weeks. I love you.)

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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