I’m on the porch at 7:30 this morning thinking that although I am the only permanent resident of the Holmes house, proof of occupancy stands right in front of me — in the collection of walking sticks. The first to gather there was the stick which Jessica used for her nightly walks before she moved to Hawaii. There’s a brown hand-carved stick, skinned bark apparent, that either came from the Lake of the Ozarks or Colorado, I’m not sure which. I had one from each place, the latter given to me by Katrina. I loaned one to a friend and never got it back. Tall among them rises the stick which Addao sawed from a fallen branch. The most rugged and enduring crosses over Addao’s handiwork, and I think that must have belonged to Jessica’s father. Completing the collection is the wizard stick which Patrick bought for me at the Renaissance festival, a decade ago, more maybe, the first year that I felt too weak to make the rounds of the troubadors and stages out at Bonner Springs.
I sip my coffee and think that I’ll go inside and write. Addao, who is Jessica’s eleven-year-old son, watches television with the sound down low because his mother still sleeps. I open the computer and contemplate going to the cemetery. Then I think, But what about the living? and outloud speculate on how nice breakfast at Eggcetera would be. Addao needs no prompting. He jumps into the idea and drags his mother out of bed. Soon we sit playing I’m going to Colorado and I’m going to Take. . ., which I swiftly changed from “grandmother’s house”, realizing, it’s too soon, too soon, since Addao lost his grandmother, Jessica’s mother, barely a month ago. Addao takes the prize with “H”, thumbing in his mother’s direction and chortling, “I’m going to Colorado and I’m taking HER!”
Afterwards, I get coral roses from Lipari’s and go to the cemetery anyway, where I clean the debris of the last bouquet and wash off Jay and Joanna’s headstones. Then I make my way to work, thinking, Sunday, sweet Sunday, and feel a little wistful about summer’s waning. But I cannot complain. It’s not even noon, and I’ve already had a joyful day. It matters not that I have to spend the next six hours working. I’ll live. I’ll live.