Today was a hard day. I woke up early and did a short run—not much but something. At work I kept my ear buds in and listened to science and short story podcasts. They are my saving grace at this point, as they keep my conscious mind occupied while I spend 8 hours pretending to care about labeling tubes.
When I came home I finally felt ready to package up your needlework and a few other things to send to the family. I had taken some of your stationary. I know you wouldn’t mind if I used it. The first pack of cards was olive green, 100% recycled and acid free. What does that mean anyway? Acid free? Turning the package in my hand, I notice that it was manufactured in Santa Fe, Minnesota. When were you there? What did you do there? The price sticker has been rubbed off the far right corner. Did your hands do that? Did your fingers nimbly pick at the white sticker until it was gone? I imagine you sitting in a Minnesota airport with a Starbucks coffee at your feet (a venti with two shots). Your legs would be tucked under the seat and your head cocked to the left holding your cell phone between your ear and shoulder. Which sister were you talking to as you peeled away the sticker?
When you were in the hospice, you scared me. Before the marinol and oxycodone had worn away and before you had an adequate amount of rest, you moved your fingers nimbly. You looked at the corner of the room while your lips appeared to move as if speaking in tongues. Did you imagine you were peeling a sticker then as well? When I saw you like this, my heart broke.
Your fingers are no longer moving nimbly. Today I have many pieces of your artwork—all products of your hands. They are beautiful and I will send them to people who will cherish them. I only wish you were here to do this with me.