“I spotted a shelf in a little shop downtown that will be perfect for the laundry room,” my cousin tells me. “And I’m going to replace the thermostat. We want one that can be preset, instead of having to change the temperature manually. Beverley…” His catches himself then doubles over in grief.
Beverley died two days ago.
“It’s okay,” I offer, unsure. It is all so raw.
“There are still a few things we haven’t got right,” he continues. He and Beverley moved into the condo at the end of May. They had it built for her, so that she would have one floor living. After ten years the cancer was settling in and taking over. Getting around became harder and harder.
“We don’t really like the countertop the way it is here,” he points to the breakfast bar. Then he stops, checking himself again, and shaking his head.
“I don’t know,” he whispers. “Does it really all matter now? Do I even want to continue to live here?”
“It’s too early to make any decisions yet.”
“I know. I know.” His eyes look right through me at a reality that no longer exists.
The phone rings and as David answers, I walk away, and position myself before the sliding glass doors. The rain outside is almost horizontal and the wind is howling – even Nature is mourning. I wipe away my own tears and try to be strong.
“We are planning a trip in January,” I hear David say. “Were planning…..well, I think I’ll still go….oh dear….. I keep saying we.”
“It’s okay to say we, isn’t it?” he asks me after hanging up. “I mean, I am still going to keep doing the things we planned.”
I hug him. “Keep doing what you’re doing.”
But I wonder. What happens when everything’s done.