He’s Gone

I’m sitting here in the midst of a peaceful afternoon here, in Mayberry. The sky is clear and birds chirp. Now and again, a car passes by. The sun has chosen a golden hue today. Sometimes, once things heat up, it’s almost silver to my eyes. White hot, even. But, not today.

Two weeks ago, Exish died. He suffered a pulmonary embolism in his downward aorta. According to the death certificate, he died of natural causes during surgery. This begs the question; Why did they keep his corpse alive for eighteen hours after closing him up? Why was I encouraged to talk with him, that he might come around, somehow? Why in Holy Hell did my youngest son have to see his father hooked up to so much machinery that it filled the room? Am I angry about it? Absolutely. So very angry. But, I thank God that he never felt a thing, because what those ghouls did to his corpse is something out of a horror film.

I’ll write more about the details of the hospital horrorfest another time. I simply cannot face the memory of it right now. The image of Exish as he lay on his deathbed is a part of my memory that I have chosen to sequester, if only for one day.

I’m on my my own now, for the very first time. I met Exish at 16, married him at 19, so there was no in between time to have to myself. It feels good, but a bit odd. My panic issues are holding me back from the grocery shopping I need to do do. BUT, I can still make it into the Dollar General and do a good ten minutes inside before I start feeling as though I’m suffocating. Progress! I got heavy duty tires on my truck so that I don’t have to worry about flats or shallow mud holes on the back roads. I only have a two wheel drive truck, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before some redneck calls me out on the mud tires! LOL! I don’t care, though. It feels great to be able to run over a stick and not worry about it. And, yes, new tires  have been the highlight of my two weeks of widowhood. LOL!

I’m very proud of how my boys are taking things. At the memorial service, J broke down, completely, then went to the nearest liquor store for a bottle. That certainly didn’t help matters but, by then, many of the people who had come to pay their final respects had left, and I asked the stragglers to take leave, as well. Then my oldest son, B, did something I’ve never seen him do before; He picked his little brother up and held him. He didn’t let him go until J had finished crying and was clinging to him like a child. I stayed in my seat and let Nature have her way. For the first time in their lives, their relationship was both defined and sealed with a simple gesture at the exact right time. Since then, they have remained in close contact and J is doing much better. B has taken over as father, as is the job of the oldest son. Sometimes, only a man can understand another man’s loss. It’s exactly as simple as that.

As for me,. I’m still moving along. Some days, I cry all day. I scream. I rant and rave. The usual, I suppose. Everyone close to me was happy for me that Exish passed. One of my friends yelled, “Well it’s about damned time, honey, good for you!”. I understand it. They’ve seen things over the years that have made them question my reasoning for standing by Exish. But, to me, Exish was family. You don’t abandon family. That’s all. And, though he was a sonofabitch, he was my sonofabitch. Since he’s been gone, though, my hair stopped falling out, I’m not eating all the time out of nervousness and there is a sense of peace in the house that’s never been here before. Exish was a very negative influence. But I still never wanted him dead. Not like that. Not hooked up to machines and being poked and prodded. No. Never. Never once did I want that.

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