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  • marybacon7

The Seemingly Impossible

Updated: Apr 26

On Sunday

I did what a year ago,

I’d never imagine myself capable.

And two years ago-NO WAY-

it’d never crossed my deepest subconscious

or wayward dream

or out of nowhere 

nightmare.

I took a gathering of Andy’s shirts

Ones he’s worn for decades 

Worn thin through multiple washings, 

Multiple scruffy dog park mornings; 

The shirts he wore to feel most like himself,

The least dressed to please; 

The comfiest

most identifiable

Andy shirts.

He loved turquoise?

Which puzzled me. Not a fan.  

He loved this mustard yellow thing

that was somehow becoming, 

He loved this pale green vintage shirt 

becoming more and more vintage

With every beach vacation.

He loved vacations. 

He loved 

leaving work at work

and embracing sun and air and cooking and people. 

Us. Me. 

Improbably-

I’m the keeper of these stories!

Each shirt his history. 

Cindy next door offered to make a blanket out of them?

I thought,

Well.

That’s some kind of  concrete curation. 

At least 

they wouldn't languish in an untouched plastic bin, 

at the bottom of an unopened drawer, 

like a sleeping secret. 

And then, 

somehow,  

I did it. 

Practically, 

pragmatically,  

Sorted them.  

Like sorting a load of laundry;

lights and darks, you know? 

Only this was into piles of

iconic Andrew and-

meh, didn't wear this much.

How deftly I sorted.

We laid them out on Cindy’s dining room table. 

Surveyed them; 

my history, too, I realized…

She thought she might even  make two. 

I held up the mustard striped one,

“This -this was so, so him…”

“Yeah, ” she said, 

“He wore that quite  a bit.”

Cindy is efficient with words

and sentiment.

Very kind.

But not overly emotional.

THANK GOODNESS.

What if she’d started to cry? 

I’d never have been able to leave the shirts there;

 I’d have collapsed in sorrow right then, been swept away for good. 

Then the young woman, who helped clean the house, with her new family just starting, 

wanted the bunk beds. 

Andy and I had put them together in this little house

for little Abadi. Who,

along with many friends and cousins, 

slept in them and  jumped off of them and made forts with them.

She and her young husband took them apart 

with rapid ease and poof - gone.

I gave Andy’s prized grill to my cousin David,  

an eager beneficiary of 

Andy’s most abundant feasts. 

Andy only sat down after all had been served

salmon and chicken and steak and corn and grilled veggies.

Needed someone who knew his prowess of that grill to take it.

Who knew him.

I did all three of these things  one short afternoon. 

With little emotion.

Thought: what’s wrong with me?

But on the drive home, as I relayed it to a friend 

Wham!

Sorrow came mighty and  overpowering.

Ohhhh! There’s my friend agony! 

I knew the blanket

Signaled 

Permanence and Acceptance

of his death. 

The grill is not needed by him anymore, nor the shirts; and

Abadi is taller than me now. He bangs his head on those bunk beds.

I realized 

I couldn't have felt and done any of this at the same time.

Had I been feeling while doing?

Nothing would’ve gotten done.

It was suggested perhaps

a Greater Power

helped me do it all quickly-

And then granted me back my feeling - equally necessary-

Later. 

When it was time to feel. 

My tears remind me I am alive.

I decided this was right.

And thus, one more of day of

mysterious unseen help -

stronger than I-  

to do the

Seemingly

Impossible.

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2 Comments


maggiecondon
Apr 28

Dear Mary, My name is Maggie McDonald Condon and I stumbled upon this and I guess for some reason I was meant to read it today. I cannot imagine what you and your son are going through. I did not know Andrew but have always heard such wonderful things about him. Grief is a tricky business. I read this reading recently and as I was reading your beautiful thoughts I thought of it - "As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all yo…


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Dan Butler
Dan Butler
Apr 27

Oh dearest Mary, This is monumentally true and human and heartbreaking and heart bolstering and such a gift without intending to be one. Man, you are on this mighty flow of LIFE, so generous of you to share everything you are going through. thank you, thank you, thank you. When Richard and I first met and fell in love it was the middle of the AIDS crisis and his lover Philip had died from the disease two months before, if that. We couldn't call our get togethers "dates," we thought it disrespectful or cold, especially since Richard was mourning. We called them "whatevers." We questioned falling in love at that time, but because of the life and death-ness…

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