Almost Caught Flat-Footed

Dearest Rachel –

Before I start on the topic at hand, I need to show you this, apropos of absolutely nothing else. This was the entirety of the mail today:

That’s right, literally nothing that came in the mail today was for anyone living. You and your parents usually get something each day, but it’s a rare day indeed when that’s all that arrives. It occurs to me at this moment that I should obscured the address, but I think it’s shown up in other photographs earlier, so that ship has probably sailed. I can’t see where it really matters; most of the folks reading this are people who know us, and already know where we live, anyway.

Needless to say (did you ever notice that any time someone says that, they go ahead and say whatever it is anyway? Not that I’m about to change that or anything, but I thought I might mention it), these went straight into the recycling bin. If whoever is sending this or that piece of mail doesn’t know their recipient is deceased, there’s no need to go through the effort of finding out what they want.

Now, with that out of the way, I have a confession to make; I hadn’t kept up on people’s schedules. I mean, I did try to get in touch with Kevin and the girls, and arrange for the four of us to meet physically for the first time since the pandemic began and we started getting together online to play games most Sunday evenings. And I think we’re good to go on that; all I have to do now is to make sure we’re reasonably well-stocked on various snacks for when the girls show up.

But I was laboring under the assumption that Kevin would be arriving on the 25th – tomorrow. And, to figure out if that would cross up against my work at the booth this weekend (would he be getting here before or after I finished my shift tomorrow night?), I gave him a call as I left the office. And he arrived me that he’d be arriving at 8:30 or so, give or take a few minutes. So… after, then.

Wait, did he just mention having left at 10:30? What’s that about?

Yup. Turns out, he was driving up this way today, so he’d be here throughout the whole of Saturday. Oops. And here I was picking up a late lunch/early dinner for Daniel at this point. No worries, he said; he’d probably get something for himself while he was still about two hours out of town.

Still, that could have been an uncomfortable surprise, were he to show up tonight without my having checked. Even a phone call as he pulled off of route 53 wouldn’t have been a lot of time to get ready for his appearance.

At least we don’t have to worry too much about cleaning the house, though; it’s so much more open and spacious that I’ll wager he ever remembers it being. So there’s that, anyway.

Kevin manages to arrive almost exactly on time, within a mere ten minutes of his prediction of 8:30. The only problem is that he seems to have forgotten to grab anything to eat on the way. I let him know he’s got the run of the pantry, but after several hours of YouTubing various music videos from times gone by, I think we both wind up forgetting about that.

Can’t say much for my hosting skills; as usual, I wish you were still here.

Going through old music doesn’t help, either; whether or not Kevin is aware of it, so much of that music is freighted with memories of the two of us that it kind of hurts to watch and listen to. Granted, I’m sure he has specific memories of some of this music, too. One of these days (actually, many of these days in the future, because there’s so many of them), I’ll probably go through so many of these songs and videos, and break down how they… make me break down.

At least it appears that I’m not the only one to have been caught flat-footed by his arrival. It seems that Kevin forgot to pack his ottoman that he uses to prop up his feet when he sleeps in a chair (as he’s no longer comfortable sleeping in a bed, as you probably recall). But this is the day and age of the Internet, and shopping from your couch is a breeze; he finds something cheap and cheerful he likes from Walmart, and requests for it to be shipped here. It should arrive by Tuesday, so for the next three days he’s on his own, but at least he has hope for future comfort.

As with the retreat weekend, it’s a little difficult to get away and talk to you like this. So I hope you don’t mind if I keep this letter short. Chompers has just been out, and what with it drizzling outside, I don’t know that he’ll want to go out every two hours like he did this morning, but we’ll see how things go. I certainly hope I can get a decent night’s sleep, what with the men’s Bible study in the morning – and yes, Kevin seems more than willing to go with me. So we have the morning’s appointments squared away.

I’ll do what I can to keep you posted, but you know how things are. In any event, say hello to everybody for me, and remember I love you.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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