I was wrapping a bowl of tuna fish with some foil cause I didn’t have any saran wrap. Who the hell came up with such a strange name to call it that? Haha. The foil was popping off the top cause, well, it was a plastic bowl and it was in the fridge. I looked down and laughed. I said out loud, “you would probably put a rubber band around that bowl to keep it on and not think twice…” It’s about 8am, Friday, rainy, gray. I am getting through a transition of sorts; I hope to be the first of many. I definitely didn’t expect such a thing like shingles, but here we are. I wondered if at the most stressful times, did you have any outbreaks like this. I learned that I need to really separate myself from things. I know you and I talked about this many times. I don’t really know what the type of stress I put on myself does to my brain, but your passing is a cautionary tale of stress and worry. I said it to the ER nurse. When I started getting the shooting pains in the left side of my head and by my ear, It thought, I wonder if this is what Mom felt. I wonder if she felt anything. I know only Lisa and Dana were there that day. Part of me wonders how much pain and wonder you were going through. It is a deep pain to know that you were scared. I cry when I think of that. It is cuts through me like a blade. You being scared and me not being able to do a thing about it. Such is this world we live in. You had 5 children and a husband, but may have felt scared and alone. Maybe I sometimes can empathize with both of those feelings. Things are different now. I know I need to continue to cut the anchors that are weighing me down, but the changing world makes me long for the past and simpler times….away from the tv, away from our phones, maybe just a radio playing some 1060. I am in a new town, a new place, new people, new things to experience. I think the excitement is muted by my desire to have some peace and quiet; something I have not known for about the last 15 years. After having some folks in my life that provided absolutely no benefit, I am happy to say several are gone. More to follow. I think of your advice. Many times your words. “Bobby, you don’t need to be around people like that…” The irony of that is, sometimes those people come disguised as good people at first. Sometimes they appear to be normal or caring. Most times, after time, the truth reveals itself. I moved in the middle of a hurricane that destroyed my old area. I hold off on calling it “my city” any more cause I am just over that representing me; speaking for me. I can’t really say that I would choose to be there ever again. I think of the time you were lost for hours in Center City the April before your incident. I wonder why you never called me to ask me for help. I wish you had. I remember talking to you after and you laughing at the thought of being lost. When I thought about that event down the line, I knew then, that was from your head. I knew then that you either had your rupture and a bleed, or there was severe pressure building up. I wish I could’ve just seen deep inside your head like I was able to see so deep into your good heart. I wish I could have that clarity that feelings bring that your mind never did. I wish. I wish. I wish. Life is most definitely different these days. It is almost as if there is a before and after. I guess that’s just the way it is. I want to get excited about the after. I do. I really need to get away from this job and this company. I regret I never left this deplorable suck hole while you were alive. Some of the worst things I’ve experienced actually aren’t related to you and more related to work. Not difficult, just terrible human beings. I think of how much “crap” you put up going from deli to deli, store to store. Always going in with good intentions and a good heart. I wished deep down you could’ve stayed at those two stores you loved the most, Manoa and Marmora. I know those women miss you. I replay those times I would go and pick you up from Manoa. I get sad at the times you ever took the bus or a cab when you didn’t have a car or a license. I wonder about you doing that during the worst of weather. I wonder, “is that my mom walking, waiting, wondering…” I wonder. I wonder why our lives were so hard. I wonder why we couldn’t catch a break. I know people, maybe even you, will say, “well just be happy we are healthy and here…” but it’s so much more than that. I am not asking for riches. Just peace. I miss seeing you. I think that’s the pain that resonated the most as I cleaned my old place. And let me tell you, you’d be proud. I cleaned that place from top to bottom. I used the Fels Naptfa soap we used for the baseboards. I used the scrub brush. Now thinking I left it in the haste of moving my ass out of there as quick as I could as the after effects of Hurricane Ida were bearing down and caused such destruction; you would’ve surely been shocked. I know you would’ve stayed until it was completely done. Of course not a word of thanks from the landlord. It’s amazing to me that people, even as they’re going down hill health wise, can still act like assholes. Anyhow, what you would say, “just forget about them and stay away”. Had a great weekend. Got to the OC. Got to see Joe and Colleen and her mom and just decompress for a minute…while we moved some stuff. The shore seems like a different place today. Like it’s still great, but different. I thought of you many times. Made the turn at Island Beach store, down on Bay, smelled Mallins stick buns, passed the b’ball court and on to their street. I actually was lost cause they moved houses and I didn’t know. Then Joe is riding his bike and coming right to me and I talk and almost scare him off his bike. It was funny. It was a great, but busy day. You would’ve loved it. Bobby



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