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Hi mom!

We’re out in Ferndale right now.  You’d be proud– half the crew is stoned out of their minds.  L says hello, so hello!

Anyway, I just wanted to check in.  I love you, & miss the ever-loving shit out of you.

Yer son,

Ian

Moms, moms, moms,

I wanted so badly to call you this morning.  Maybe ten-thirty hit, and I just stared at my phone.  Didn’t help that dad was texting me this morning.

Eric & I are still doing the best we can, there.  Told you about the tickets last time around.  Now, it’s just trying to hand off the messiness surrounding them.

It’s an uphill battle.

What in the hell did I want to say too you earlier?  It feels like, at times, L & I are walking on eggshells around one another, that my mind is going to shit, that all of us each is shuffling through his life without any of that sense of “attack” that you and dad tried to instill into us.

It’s worse for Eric.  The more I think about the decisions that you and dad made, & the more that I learn about how you made them, the more I see that you two were just as moorless as any of us.

This is both comforting, & PROFOUNDLY DISTURBING.  But there you go.

I think I’ve lost your pen.

I think that Eric is having a hard time with dad too, but he’s working his ass off.

OH!  I remember what I meant to bring up with you: the cat peed the bed this morning again.  It was AWFUL.  I know those beasties have half a foot in the Thereafter, so, if you can, a) read my handwriting, & b) have a word with her, I’d appreciate it.

I love you, mom.

Have a good night.

Ian

Hi mom,

Sorry about the interruption yesterday.  Life intervened, as you were so fond of saying.

What to say?

I spoke to Dani today (not your favorite, I know, but she and her husband are amazing).  Her boy is great.  She’s still doing jewelry.  She misses you, moms.  Maybe you two should make up, now that you’re gone (pushed that forever but neither of you ever listened).

What else?  Eric & I got dad tickets to the Giants v. the Phillies.  Trying to help him get past his asociations..?  associations?  between those games and his grief for you.

Is that okay?

I asked L a question yesterday– why I threw so much effort into a man who (sorry– I know your feelings on this) didn’t give 2/5ths of a shit about me.

She shrewdly refused to answer, but I think I know my own heart, here: we can’t leave him alone any more than we could leave you by your bedside, jacked into all of those awful machines.  Perhaps, more to the point, you would not only buck at the notion of us leaving, you’d probably guilt the every-loving crap out of us until we took that cranky fucker out for a burger or something.

Er and I are trying here, mom.

I miss you.  I love you.

Ian

Hi mom,

L’s beat town for a minute.  A writing workshop, or somesuch.

Me, I’m fighting a cold.

Love,

Ian

Hi moms,

I wish things were going better today, but they’re not.

Love,

Ian

Hi mom!

I met a dude today who bred knock-in mice.  Interesting stuff.

Anyway, I’m tired, not just a little faced.  L & I are ready for bed.

Remember Sunday mornings, when we were all itty bitty?  Remember when I came home, cranky as hell that Taozer was mewling outside of my door?

Moms, I’d give any-goddamned-thing to get back there with you.

Ian

MOMS,

Nice evening.  L had a reading, which provided a decent distraction from everything that’s going on.  (Work shit, largely.  Nothing interesting).

Since last week (I’m sorry it’s been so long), I sorta patched things over with dad.  I know he’s nowhere near done with those first spasms of grieving for you yet– you were so much the center of what he was (I see that now)– & the whole group therapy thing, in retrospect, was a BAD idea for dad.

Fuck almighty.  You try to do something nice, if totally unwelcomed, intrusive, whatever, for a guy…

So what’s the plan here, moms?  What do you need us to do?  I’m guessing that a big part is to stop drinking, & smoking (whatever), & video-gaming (w.r.t. dad & Eric, respectively, but probably me, too) ourselves into numbness; but what SHOULD we be feeling?  Where should we be going?  You were always the compass, as mooreless as I felt growing up.  I always could call you and at least feel better about the poor decisions I was making.

I never bought into L’s ghost stories, but I’m willing to give them a try for you, mom.

Hit me back.  I miss the shit out of you.

Ian

Hi mom,

Fraught day, today.  I called Amy [last name removed– my mother’s doctor] to ask her to reach out to da.  The initial goa, which I passed by Eric, was to get him both talking, which he hadn’t been, and talking to other people.  There was a point where she asked me whether or not I should let her mention that this was coming from a place of concern, from Eric & I.

Initially, I passed.  Then I said yes.

My hope was that it would foment a stronger conversation between the three of us.

His response was immediate and angry:

“Did you sic her on me?!  WTF?”

Bad scene.

Eric & I both want badly to help him, but find ourselves basically powerless.  He resists at every step.

No idea what to do here, moms.

Becky & I spoke about this for the longest time.  I could never have anticipated the lavel of anger in his reply.  I know (only now) you had a pretty shit time with the shrink that grandma sent you to as a “willful child.”  I assume that was traumatic enough that you resisted sending me that way.

All I can say to you is that my relationship with MY current therapist has been the only thing keeping me upright and moving through everything that’s happened with you.

I just want the same for dad.

Still, it feels like this was a “write you out of the will” level betrayal, in his mind.

Fuck.

I think that’s it for tonight.  If you can think of a way for me to rectify things with him, let me know– knocking on the table, ectoplasm, whatever.

As always, I love you,

Ian

Ways in which I describe m emotional response to missing my mom:

Frog in throat.

Eyes like two lightly-boiled eggs.

Mount set like a streak of piss.

Over-communication.

Under-communication.

Adult male gorilla syndrome.

Adolescent male chimpanzee finally figuring out what to crack a nut with syndrome.

Getting high on life.

Getting LOW on life.

Getting exhausted by the whole prospect of life, the universe, & everything.

Needing a nap.

Insomnia.

Not knowing what to say to my father.

Knowing what to say to my father, but not being able to say it.

Guilt over all of the above.

Elation resulting from all of the above.

Guilt & depression about that last thing.

 

Hi ma!

Ho boy.  Let’s try that again: Hi, ma!

What to report?  Not much, really.  Eric & I are both really concerned about dad.  He’s not really handling things– & you know THE things particularly well.  He’s also not really making an effort to reach out.  You know how he is.  Makes me think of that time I came home from school, tried to have it out with him, & he just snickered at me, & would up taking a shower.

Remember?

We sat on the bed, waiting for him to come out, me up to my eyes with frustration or whatever, and you just put your hand on my heaving neck, & told me that this was how he processed things.

I thought I got it a bit, back then.  I’m certain I get it now.  He doesn’t really process things like we do.  I think he’s waiting for the universe to hand him the next step.

I’m not really certain how I feel about him, other than sympathetic, loving, & having a sense of pity that’d probably kill him.

IN THE INTEREST OF THAT, I reached out to Amy [last name removed– my mother’s doctor] today, asking her to follow up with him, perhaps to recommend to him a grief support group.  It’s probably going to fall on deaf ears, but I need to try– his gallows’ humor is more alarming than it is funny, & I keep getting these visions of him veering off The Slide or something.

Anyway.

I think that’s about it for tonight, ma.

Oh!  I spoke to my therapist, & she has blessed these little letters as being, on the whole, pretty healthy.  So expect to see some more.

I love so much, & miss the hell out of you.  Not a day goes by that I don’t look at your number in my phone & wish there would be someone to pick up on the other end of that line.

Love you, love you, love you,

Ian