It is Sunday night, and I am still coughing. I came down with the cold/cough on Thanksgiving Day, ten days ago, which honestly, has always been my pattern. I work for weeks on end, often with many around me getting sick, but if there is a show in the works my body always waits until it is over, till I have the time as it were, to be sick.
Except this time it got it wrong. That show is done, but there is another one in the making. I am running hard, just like I do when I have a show to put up. This time the show is the final one. I am retiring, and moving to Mexico. I have a hundred things to do before my departure date, and I am sick. And as if I needed another affirmation on my decision, winter came to town with a vengeance too, and it has been at 0 degrees at night for over a week now, and the ground up here is white. If I were so inclined I would be questioning some deities sense of humor about now.
When you get one of these kinds of lingering colds, the only thing that could possibly knock it down is rest, and I can’t. This week there are two events planned to celebrate my transition. The first is 3 nites from now, when 40 or 50 friends will gather at a local biergarten to hang out and talk one last time before I leave. The other one is a surprise, at work, the only thing I know is I have to show up for the last day of classes showings event on Friday. Lots of tears this week for sure.
Today as I was cleaning off some shelves, sorting books for the library vs. books to take with me, I found an old audio cassette, unlabeled. It turned out to be a tape from my early 1990’s answering machine. I put it in the cassette player (yes, I still have one) and hit play. After a few messages from old friends, some of whom I hope I will see this week, my mother’s voice rang out. She passed away ten years ago. It was so odd, as if she had just left her message yesterday, when in fact it was more like twenty years ago.
She was a bit of a shy woman, I am like her in that way. She was calling for no special reason, just to chat. I am sure I returned the call as soon as I could, for that was a time when we were pretty good friends, probably as good as we had ever been. I miss her, of course. It is a time for such things, I have known for a while it would be. It is The Last Week.