All souls

Gamma and I took the cats into the vet this morning for tune-ups. We studied a glossy, full-color poster in the waiting room, which gave all the details on the various parasitic worms cats can suffer from.
“That would make a great placemat,” I said.
“Especially at an Italian restaurant,” Gamma replied.

I got a little bottle of medicine to squirt into the red cat’s ears and massage around. He’s not crazy about it, but he’s got the ear mites.

I did various things today. Drove around. Washed dishes a few times. Alpha leaves tomorrow on a business trip so she was packing and stuff. She lit a candle on the kitchen table and placed a little card next to it, an obituary announcement we had printed up for my father last year.

I read the card and realized today was the anniversary of his death. I had known it was around now, but did not recall the exact date.

A couple weeks ago, I stepped out of the music school one dark night just as a skinny old guy wearing a baseball cap walked past. He had the same build and the same posture and walk, and the part of my brain that sees things first, before the logical part analyzes them, said, “Dad.”

It was the closest I’ve come to seeing a ghost. I like to think that’s what I saw. Also the phone rang this morning at five, about the time my mother called us last year to give us the news. A single ring.

Wrong number, I guess. No one there when Alpha answered.

We went into Vienna yesterday and walked around and spent money, the whole family. Beta drove. Practicing driving with her is one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in a long time. I had expected it would be harder, with more fighting, but we turn out to be a good team in this, as in other things.

She just called, I have to leave in a few minutes and pick her up at the train station, she was in Vienna this evening visiting a friend.

6 responses to “All souls

  1. sue

    It’s not hard to forget the exact date someone passes. All I remember is that my mother died in early March. It was 1988, because the winter Olympics were on. But my father died on Valentine’s Day (1975?), and my husband passed 15 minutes into 2000. (Needless to say, New Year’s Eve is not a big deal around here.)

    About the only time the date and “anniversary” trigger a memory for me is New Year’s Eve.

  2. I lost my dad two weeks before his 55th birthday in 1984, I was 24 and back in college a month later to finish my senior year- not a smart move.

    Though I think about him every day, I’ve only felt his prescence a few times in the years since. They always left me with a really good, but also sort of sad vibe- and I was thankful for them.

  3. Jann

    My father is living, but my father-in-law died November 5, 1972, thirty-five years ago today. The call came from mother-in-law at 04:30 hours; the hospital, where he was recovering from a mild heart attack, had called and said that he had “taken a turn for the worse.” I’ve always remembered the date. I’ll have to remember to call my mother-in-law, who will be ninety-one soon, later.

  4. Jann

    In the interests of accuracy, I should say that my mother-in-law, who was born in December, 1915, is actually going to be ninety-two next month. She has the mind of a young person.

  5. lee

    Jann- my Swedish great-great-aunt was also born in Dec ’15, and is still the most independent person I know. I would say she also has the mind of a young person, but I would have to admit that it’s more like the mind of a 10-yr-old: a very independent, stubborn and oh-so-slightly confused 10 yr old. She does very well, the marvelous lady.

  6. I still pick up the phone, sometimes, to call my grandma Alyce. It’s been 15 years.

    You know, Mig, one of the keys to my cat/dog/horse/squirrel whispering abilities [but not to the spider & fly segments of same] is the wielding of the secret handshake: upon meeting a beastie, the left hand goes down/out for a sniff, then moves along the jaw to said beastie’s ear. Beastie cocks head, knuckle is burrowed, comes back coated in beastieearwax, and it’s BFFs all around.
    It’s gross – really gross and to other humans perhaps a little not-quite-sociable – but the cats love it and the ear mites… not so much.