Letters

I’m supposed to be making myself some dinner, rehearsing, and perhaps most importantly, enjoying the feeling of a Friday evening after a full and busy work week. I’ve dealt with the cat hair crisis behind the stereo cabinet, and arranged said cabinet so our 16 year old dander and fur cloud kitty can’t nest behind it, blanketing the curtains with her sneeze enducing fur. When I find myself spending time engaged in these sorts of activities, I know all is well. Then I checked e-mail.

There is a copy of correspondence between my mom and one of her cousins, whom she only recently told me about, in my e-mail. Mom writes beautifully. Again, if you have no context, nothing is wrong. I must have gasped at her inaccuracies 5 or 6 times:
Assertion – She and dad quit smoking at the same time.
Fact – She quit smoking two years before dad did.
Assertion – We were living in the Bay Area when they quit smoking and dad was in his early 50’s.
Fact – Dad was 40, and we were living in the Bay Area when he quit smoking. Dad was living in the NW when he turned 50. The math on this has dad living to 89-91 years of age (given that we moved to the NW in 1979) which sadly he did not.
Assertion – Dad never got pneumonia again, after quitting smoking.
Fact – Dad died of sepsis of pneumonia. 
Assertion – My grandfather lived just shy of 100.
Fact – My grandfather lived to 100 years and 4 months! OK, getting picky.
Assertion – Mom talks about traveling to Switzerland to visit friends, and then continue on to explore Europe. 
Sad Fact – Mom couldn’t pilot her way through our regional airport to catch a puddle jumper to the east side of the state, rent a car once there, and then find a hotel on her own. Let’s not talk about getting to where she’d want to go from there, much less make the travel arrangements. 
Assertion – It’s a fine April day.
Fact – It’s June 19th.

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