Tears come easily now.
I hold Ben in my arms and watch him move into sleep: he moves closer to me, dipping his hand into the neckline of my t-shirt, looking for bosomy skin. His eyes blink three times, slowly, then he locks his gaze into a far corner of his pale blue room. The room I made for him in this house we will leave in less than a week. This moment is what I have waited 49 years for: to hold a nearly sleeping toddler in my arms, and I weep.
My friend Jackie calls. I tell her I still need to return her Women's Anthology of Humor, borrowed three years ago. She tells me she can't come to the Quay Brewery tomorrow for my farewell beers. She talks about the current struggle of the faculty at our community college, ruled by an abysmal administration. We swear to see each other before I leave town. I weep.
My sister calls, grateful she can have the electric mower I no longer need. She says my brother in law will be vaulted to heaven by the new mower. We say tonight was wonderful, sharing a meal and watching our two boys race trikes 'til they were exhausted: her boy older and yelling "I MUST win!" as he passed Ben on the boulevard. I weep.
I talk with John, just in from a motorcycle ride and a cool beer at a bike night at a Bay City bar. He talks about getting a trailer equipped with a sink, queen bed and a toilet to make a long trek together. His daughter, sweet Rhea, will be married on Saturday. I weep.
Joe calls, and we chat about Arnold and his Democratic challengers in California, about Mafia lawyers, and moving. His daughter, Nicky, swells with her first child and I think of her basking in her father's appreciative gaze. I weep.
My stepmother Kate lies dying in Florida, ten days without food or water, just morphine. Her heart is still strong. She keeps living while cancer gnaws at her. My Dad's strung out grief is marked in turn by exhausted laughter and weeping. We wait for a thready pulse, the sign that death might bring all of us relief, and I weep.