First Day, Last Day, and So On

For many years my uber-competitive super close Cuban-New Orleans-South Florida family has played a competitve ongoing game attempting to be the first wish each other "happy first day of (insert name of the month here)"

This changed, radically, when Abuela decided to jump into to the sky on December 1.

Since then, we've all limped along, hollow and determined, alternately crying, laughing and staring into the sky.

So today, I sent a new text message to my inner circle, hoping maybe I'd start a new trend.

"Happy last day of August!"

My mom replied "You got me!" then filled the rest of the lines with with news of where our Cuban-New Orleans family was dispersing to during yet another hurricane crisis.

She ended with "I miss Mami."

I texted back quickly with the words that ran across my heart, "Me too. It's like a love tatoo on my soul - welcome but not enough."

Then the tears came in their usual silent tidal wave.

I walked away from the children who were watching the Simpsons, and took off my glasses, blinded by my own tears as I tried to load the dishwasher.

My phone buzzed from its nesting place inside my bra.

It was Mom, texting me back. "You have the soul of a writer."

I know, I know, I thought.

She's been telling me that since I was four.

I don't want that soul today.

The words are too sharp, too bright, too much for me.

I reached for the strongest thing in the house -- Benadryl allergy pills-- and take two.

Hopefully the words -- and the feelings behind them -- will be just a little quieter, if just for one night.