I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’ve agreed to take on a consulting job for a few weeks. Actually I signed on because I was told the assignment would be over before Christmas. Yet as soon as I arrived, I found out it goes into January as well. So, I offered a compromise. I’ll work in the last week of December (two weeks beyond my initial commitment) – tomorrow and Friday and during the first week of January, and then I’ll be finished – just in time to get ready for my husband Bob’s hip replacement surgery the following week.
It’s not that I don’t like the job. I’m working as a technical writer and advisor to young engineers, helping them write and produce a proposal – something I’ve done in the aerospace business for years. The work is always interesting especially when the engineers are receptive and smart. However, it takes me over an hour each way to get back and forth. In my old work life I never spent more than ten minutes commuting each way because early on, my husband and I decided to live close to work. We never regretted that decision.
What I do regret right now is that I’m not spending enough time here writing about memories of Paul and his up and coming birthday on New Year’s Eve. Maybe that’s the reason I took the job – so I wouldn’t wallow. I’ve always advocated participating in diversions to take my mind away from this tragedy in my life, and this time is no different. That the work opportunity came in December is a good thing. However, it doesn’t help me remember my son Paul any less.
Things in Boxes
He left a black canvas box
filled with his music recordings
next to his bed,
the cassette tapes neatly packed
in order of performance.
And on his closet shelf
we found a cardboard box filled
with little games, cars, toys,
1984 Olympic souvenirs,
and the Russian buttons and buckles
his uncle brought back for him.
He fit these favorite things
together like an intricate puzzle,
before he left his body
for us to put in a box
in the ground.