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Monday, May 18, 2015


Dear Josie,

I watched a movie the other day.

The movie is called "Cake". Going in, I knew some things.  This was a movie about chronic pain and prescription medication.  This was a movie that starred Jennifer Aniston.  I read somewhere that she wore no makeup throughout the entire thing.  I was intrigued.

There were a few things that caught me off-guard.  Mostly that the main character in this movie has lost a child, a five year old son, in a tragic accident. 

I felt this weird pull then, when I realized what I was watching.  The movie took on an entirely different meaning for me, which I guess was the point. 

There is this one scene.  The mother is attempting to embrace life again, and invites a friend and his son over for lunch.  This particular son is around the same age as the boy she lost.  There is a pool and he wants to go swimming, but did not bring any swimming attire. 

"Hold on," she says.  "I think I might have something he can wear."

And I knew what was coming.  I felt what she did, I think.  Walking down that hallway into his room.  Into the dark, empty, dusty room that should house the living child but instead houses the memories.  The plans.  All of the demons and thoughts that keep you up at night.  And the room is always there.  And it taunts you and it toys with you.  Dares you to enter, lest you forget.

And so right before she enters she yells out for her housekeeper, because I think she knew it was going to be difficult. 

And she walks over to the stack of blue, Rubbermaid tubs.  The same exact blue Rubbermaid tubs that hold your clothes.  All of your beautiful, colorful baby shower outfits and knick-knacks and girlie things.  All of the things that should be stained or broken or on a shelf somewhere now, but instead they are covered in the blue darkness.  Forever pristine.    

Watching this scene I cried harder than I have in a long time.  It felt good.  Really, really good.  And I was happy that a movie exists with this scene.  And I was happy that I watched it.  And I was happy that I was alone at eleven am on a Sunday morning.  And when it was over I felt lighter, and I wished that I could have a Vodka and Sprite.

And then I did something I haven't been able to do since you died. 

I walked downstairs to the garage, to the deepest part of our garage.  To the very back part that I don't ever pass by on purpose.  And it was there, as it always is.  Your lone, blue Rubbermaid tub.

I ripped off the tape like I've done a thousand band aids, and I saw them there all folded nicely.  I brought them to my face and I smelled them, although I'm not really sure why, because they do not smell of you.  I think I was smelling that life.  That week before you died.  All of the thank-you cards I could never bring myself to write.  All of the hope that was lost that I thought was gone forever. 

I realized that maybe I could take just one.  Just in case we get this baby.  On the chance we bring it home. 

And I brought it upstairs with me, because I think you'd want me to. 

And also because,  Jennifer Aniston is really pretty without the makeup.


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