Cruising the Green of Second Avenue

Wild Child Publishing has issued the second volume of short stories in Cruising the Green of Second Avenue. The tales take up where Vol. I left off — bringing back Klein the Biker, Straight Charlie and Sammy the Madman while introducing new characters stumbling over life’s difficulties in the late 60s. Vol. II is an e-book published by Wild Child Publishing that you can download, save as a pdf (Adobe) file and print. Read both volumes and see that life isn't all that serious. Find it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other online book sellers.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Things She Left Behind

Judy complained uncharacteristically of being tired and in pain, and half an hour later she was gone. It was the end of a 46-year marriage in which “she” and “I” became “we.”

The months since then have been a long and difficult, costly in terms of burial arrangements and mental turmoil, and unusually quiet with just half the household noise and even less conversational chatter.

Slowly, I’m uncovering the bits and pieces of her life that I wasn’t aware of. There is loose change in the pockets of her jackets hanging in the closet. Clothes and purses and scarves that still have store tickets attached. Our children’s greeting cards for Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day from years ago. Utility bill receipts from a decade ago.

Tucked in her bedside table were half a dozen hung bau, little red envelopes Asians use to gift children or elders with money on the Lunar New Year. Each contained a $20 bill. These — along with the clothes and purses — were gifts just in case someone came to our house and was celebrating an event. These were stored and ready just in case she suddenly needed a birthday present or there was a surprise guest during a holiday.

All I have left are the things she left behind.

We took Judy home to Northfield, Mass., for burial in the cemetery where she’ll be with my parents, brothers, grandparents and great-grandmother.

And then a curious thing happened. Following the interment service, the pastor came to me and said, “While you were speaking this leaf fell on your shoulder.”

I take it as an omen, that Judy was listening. And I have more to think about now than the things she left behind.

No comments: