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I found these videos on my ipod during my Mother’s Day retreat at Crane Creek.  I forgot I was documenting Toby’s last months with us, so they’re a little bittersweet.  Not for the average reader (all 3 of you!).  For me.

The first one is October, 2010, about a minute and a half – good face smooshies and Rio is under the bed attacking Bucky’s foot while he stalks Toby during the endlessly annoying meal routine.

The second is December, 2010, about 4 minutes – the day Toby had a bad seizure and kept walking into things.  The strange thing to me is how quiet the house was then.  We came home with the boys about a month later and Toby passed away about a month or so after that.

Anyway, she was a good old girl.  Love you tobytobytobytobytobytoby.

Toby October 2010

Toby December 2010


There is smoke in the air and I’m wondering who I am.  The marsh is on fire and I’m thinking, who did Daddy mean when he said two of his kids were introverts and two were extroverts?

I should be getting into the restaurant so I don’t breathe this in, but it’s 10 minutes till the doors unlock.  Should I be writing my epitaph now just in case?

No can’t die from this inhalation.  But I could lose my breath, slip into an iron lung.  (Isn’t that a terror stricken thought from the black and white television days?)  What do you write when you’re about to be unable to write but not dead yet?

Wait, I do have something started already.  “She fell asleep in death.”  Read this in an obit of my friend’s elderly aunt.  We had to search the paper for the listing as nobody knew for sure the aunt’s last name.  She had married briefly many years ago, and that’s just what you did then.  You kept the shared identity with the man who fucked you over, cleaned out your parents’ savings account, or who unfortunately turned out to be way more boring than you had anticipated.

There is smoke in the air and I’m starting to cough again.  Or was I already coughing before and it just seems viscous now that I can’t see the clouds in the sky from the marsh clouds.

My friend’s aunt actually didn’t fall asleep in death, more like fell on the floor and bled to death.  But you can’t put that in an obit.  I wish you could.  Instead of  “he ascended into the heavenly kingdom to be with his holy and peaceful father…”  Couldn’t you say he choked on a slab of brisket that he shouldn’t have been eating in the first place?