Like Real Life

I hugged my dad goodbye this afternoon as Bevan and I got ready for the long drive to Chicago to catch our flight back to San Francisco and when the hug was over my dad handed me an envelope with my name on it and said, "It's from your mom." My stomach dropped as I took it, so I quickly slid it into my backpack before the tears could come, hugged him once more, grabbed my suitcase and left. Several hours later while Bevan and I were sitting in Terminal 3 at O'Hare waiting to board our flight I pulled the envelope out of my backpack, broke its seal with an easy slide of my forefinger and slowly unfolded the letter onto my lap. I managed to read the date, April 10, 2013, just a few short months after my mom was diagnosed, before the sting hit my eyes and I had to put it away again. A few minutes went by before I text messaged Kelly to see how far she had gotten.

I decided on the flight, a miserably turbulent four-hour journey during which I drank three bottles of champagne and cried at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, that I would save the letter from my mom for a different day, a day when perhaps the wound doesn't feel quite as fresh and the tears aren't sitting on the edges of my eyeballs and the waking hours seem a little less like a bad dream.

Because fuck is right.