Dear Walt,

I feel like a kept woman. I get up to write and usually the coffee is already made and I may pour a bowl of cereal but soon after I’m asked if I need something to eat. My laundry is done for me, folded, put away. The dogs are walked though not as often as you did. The dishes are done. Dinner is usually delivered to me in my living room office. Our son in law recently made your chicken enchiladas which are our daughter in law’s chicken enchiladas and they were great.

I don’t cook except to warm food and rarely. Our daughter, who does my laundry, also washes all the dishes in the main kitchen downstairs and usually upstairs in the small bathroom kitchen though I’ll do those if there are any when I’m in there. I do next to nothing but play with words on the page and feel pretty useless. Our other kids call or text and ask if I need anything. Lately I’ve needed a break from the foster dog so our youngest daughter has been sharing duties.

I feel like an invalid yet I’m not. I get tucked in at night, our RN daughter making sure I’ve taken all my meds, that I have water, do I need the fan turned off or the heater popped on. The lawn guys came yesterday. I told them they’d be dealing with me now and all is well. Except they won’t be doing the neighbor’s yard as they can do two others in the same amount of time. They did appreciate you hooking them up, though. And it’s nice to see the yard cleaned up again.

This is such a weird life. I mean, it’s kind of an awesome life except for the reason I’m living it.

I did a frivolous thing yesterday and got my hair cut. In the last three years I’ve had it cut twice. The last time you did it, cutting off about six inches then razoring the ends with the dog clippers. You did a great job. But as you know I’d been griping for months about needing to get it cut. It just didn’t seem important in light of the construction taking precedence and scrunchies were made for a reason. The bottom had old color and was damaged and felt like ratty straw. It feels so much better now. Our son in law said it made me look younger and that made me sad because you weren’t here to see me.

But I didn’t cry. The last two days have been pretty good. I’ve cried a bit but nothing like the sobfests of the two days before. I’m reading Joan Didion’s book about the sudden loss of her author husband and it’s hard going. I can only manage a few pages at a time. Her thoughts are my thoughts. Her experience my experience. I have a lot of my own magical thinking going on.

I talked to my sister about needing to believe, to know, to be certain you can see and hear me. That you’re with me. That you’re smiling at me as I blast my way through the grocery store since it’s getting late and I can’t drive in the dark but I’m shopping. I’m shopping! That you’re frowning at me and shaking your head when I attend one of the many pity parties I’ve thrown for myself, dressing for the occasion in sloppy sweatpants and mismatched socks and uncombed hair.

That you’re encouraging me and cheering me on and sending me inspiration when I pull up the files on the second Icefall book, trying to make sense of your notes and remember tidbits you told me about but I don’t think you ever wrote down. Right now, I need the magic. I need you with me. I need you and I miss you and I love you and not a moment passes during a single day that I don’t think of you, see you where you once were, wish you were magically here.