Saturday, November 14, 2009

A nice day

We met with our financial planner today. The good news is that we are meeting our goals in terms of slowly building our cash reserves, which is his big focus for us now that we have some form of life insurance. In fact, I think between our three accounts, we are actually half way to our final goal for cash reserves, which, a year ago, was laughable in its enormity (of course our credit card debt is as high as it previously was, if not higher . . . but I'm focusing on the positive). It's slow progress, but we are moving towards where he feels we should be, and once there, we can begin to move toward actual Adult Things like retirement funds and so on. Maybe someday, we'll even pay it off. Hey, it's not that funny.

He, too, shares dreams that we will someday win the lottery. I told him I'm trying hard for all of us. We then joked about who would take whose private jet to meet where and decided on meeting halfway between Houston and San Antonio, a luxurious waste of jet fuel and money and a good joke. He asked when we would try to conceive again and we shrugged and said, "Maybe in the new year. We don't know the timing for sure, only that we are going to try again."

Then we washed Grover at a car wash because he looked so disreputable. We didn't want to waste the energy to do it ourselves, though it would have been less expensive and a better job - it's predicted to rain this next week. The car seemed to appreciate the attention and I have vowed to clean it out and vaccuum it tonight or tomorrow.

Then DH got a phone call from his boss, a bad call. The person who was supposed to have been there today didn't show up for their shift. No notice, no reason why. The second time in as many weeks this has happened. Not his fault, but nevertheless frustrating. And unfortunate, as he then had to go in to work, which is where he is now.

I drove him and then stopped at the shopping center on my way home. I went into Borders, wondering if they had Elizabeth McCracken's book about her stillbirth and subsequent pregnancy (An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination is the title). Today was a book drive for Blue Santa - the local police department's organization of holiday gifts for underprivileged children. Borders was participating - one could drop off gently used children's books or (better yet, in their opinion) purchase new children's books to donate and get a coupon of some kind. I immediately strode back to the children's section and found the Award Winning books - mostly Newbury winners, books that formed the background of my childhood, that I intended to fill shelves with for our children. I chose three that I loved, wondered if they were perhaps not diverse enough, but shrugged and carried them upstairs, where a kind older lady helped me find the single copy of the McCracken book. I went back downstairs and checked out and let the cashier (a young man in his early 20's) know I was donating the three children's books.

He was wide-eyed and grateful and as I struggled to pull my credit card out of its slot in my wallet, I shrugged and smiled and said what had been motivating me all along, "Oh, it's nothing. We lost our son about three months ago and I love books. We're doing a few things in his honor for the holidays, so this is a natural one. I'm glad I stopped in today."

His mouth fell open and he said, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

I was now snapping my wallet closed and was matter of fact and dry eyed and I shrugged again, smile still in place. "Thank you."

He rung up my purchase and there was a moment of silence where he was contemplating me, this frumpy, fat woman in front of him who casually made conversation with clerks about her dead son, to whom buying a few books for kids she'd never meet was perfectly natural. "I really don't know what to say," he said. "I'm really, really sorry for your loss. Thank you for the books." He returned my credit card and I nudged the McCracken book back towards me. "I hope you have a nice holiday."

I smiled again and said, "Thank you. I will. I hope you do as well." And I slid my card into my wallet and my wallet into my purse and walked out with my book and I smiled, because I could feel Gabriel smiling near me. He may never read The Westing Game, but some other child will, and perhaps they will be as intrigued as I was once.

Then I bought lunch - chicken pesto pasta - and came home and read the book from cover to cover, alternately laughing out loud and crying because I know the pain she writes of so clearly and cogently. Beautiful book, a wonderful tribute to her son and a balm to my soul, to have another person's words bring out again the feelings of my heart.

All in all, not a bad day.

And tonight, I get laid.

Not bad at all.


Christy said...

Good for you....the books....the conversation with the cashier and of course the getting laid part. May it be more than an act of procreation (my wishes for you!). But whatever it may be, good luck!

shotzie said...

What a nice thing to do in honor of Gabriel. I'm sure the kids who get those books will love them.

I don't know if you'd be interested in this book as well:

I've been following her blog:
for quite a while and I don't know if it might be something you'd be interested in checking out.

Jenn Collins said...

The Westing Game. You just brought back a flood of wonderful memories. I'm going to go tonight and pick up a copy for myself, and one to donate.