Dear Walt,

It’s been a while since I’ve written though I talk to you daily, hourly, but I couldn’t let today go by because it’s been fifteen weeks since December 21st happened and you know how I am about fives. I used to save five dollar bills. And quarters. And I had to stop every writing session with my word count ending in a zero or five. You mocked me but you got a kick out of this weird OCD trait of mine. I’m not even sure when it started or what brought it on but it remains to this day. I embrace it. It feels right.

Unlike missing you.

I wish so much you were here for my Adventure in Vision-Saving. I look like a chipmunk with the steroid face but thankfully the reduction in meds will eventually take care of that. I’ll be puffy for a while longer but if it’s the price of being able to see, so be it. Seeing is good. I like seeing. I can’t imagine not being able to look at your photo daily. My mom and I talked about this once, whether we’d rather lose our vision or our hearing. Not that we had much choice, genetics and all, but I would rather be able to see, to read, to view TV with closed captions, to see the texture of my eggs as I cook, to watch the changes in the grandkids as they grow, to enjoy the bright blue skies and sparkling pool water and colorful hibiscus which I currently do not have. It’s out of my hands, though.

Like missing you.

Remember the pool’s filter cartridge tank you feared was cracked and would blow up? Yet you admitted to being too cheap at the time to replace it? I’m replacing it. Because it blew up. Luckily, no humans or animals were injured. And the house is fine, as is the rest of the pool equipment. The new tank is on it’s way from Las Vegas. A friend recommended a guy she’s used and he gave me a great price to install it. Hopefully this time next week the water will be a little less green because it’s warming up and it’s getting close to swimming season.

It’s going to be weird swimming without you. I bought Duke a new Wubba toy but he won’t have you ro race now. That was his favorite thing, you know, playing with you in the water. I’m not as much fun. Our son in law plays with him and walks him and he really enjoys that, but he still spends his days upstairs with me, either on the couch while I’m working, or looking out the windows above the front door from the crossover. He likes letting us know of the neighborhood’s comings and goings. Things had been quiet for a bit, lots of interior work being done, but the next door neighbors are back, as are the neighbors on the other side of them. Only one house is still empty in our half circle and they just this month started rebuilding. Crazy, but true.

I’ve been having trouble with my wedding band. It’s related to the swelling from the steroids and I hate it. During our entire twenty years of marriage I only took my ring off twice, both times to go under anesthesia for an outpatient procedure. You took yours off if it got in the way of chores, especially when dealing with the pool because of the reaction of the silver to the chemicals but not me. It’s been so much a part of me all this time that removing it feels as if I’m doing something wrong, disrespectful even. I hate not wearing it. But I tuck it inside yours in my nightstand and know it’s safe there. You’re holding it for me overnight, or until the swelling subsides. It fits in the circle of yours with room to spare. Lots of room to spare.

Your hands were one of my favorite things about you. They were so big and so capable and so strong and so gentle. I remember when we were first dating and you would rest your right hand on my left knee or thigh while driving and how that simple touch meant so much, the silent affection speaking so loudly. Now, not having your hand to hold while you drive or while we walk into a restaurant or store, not having your hand resting on my hip while I fall asleep, or brushing against my shoulder deliberately when you walk by, not having you reach for me, waiting with your hand outstretched for me to slip mine against yours…

I miss your touch. You were so very very very good at touch.

I miss you always.