Thursday, March 10, 2016

SOLSC Day 10: Old Mail

Jack’s first e-mail account was with AOL, back in the days when you had to pay for it — and he never changed it. Of course, I have to close that account so it’s no longer a drain on the pocketbook. But first I wanted to download all of his Sent mail. He used to reread his Sent mail, and I wanted to see what was there.
            It took the computer know-how of my niece and brother to accomplish that last Monday. Today I started browsing. The old mail only went back to 2009 (I guess AOL only saved back that far), and it was fun to read the exchange of e-mails between Jack and our daughter when she was on a solo trip to Glasgow. Also an exchange from an English friend who attended debates organized as the Battle of Ideas; it used to have a New York partner called the New York Salon that Jack and I attended a few times, but it no longer exists.
            But when I opened some e-mails about my mother moving up to New York into an
assisted living apartment, I was overcome by melancholy. My mother had been living independently in Florida, but at 91, she’d decided it was time for more help, and she was willing to move back to the cold weather to be closer to me and my sister. Reading those e-mails only reminded me that she’d been much sicker than I had realized, and just a month after she arrived, she was dead. We had both been looking forward to long talks about memories — we’d even started, with my mother tellilng me her fascination with science began with a college anatomy class visit to an autopsy. There were so many questions that never got answered, one more life ending with an incomplete.


  1. This didn't end where I anticipated. I thought the focus would be on your memories about Jack (your husband, I assume) invoked by reading his emails, but I appreciate the melancholy in your reflection about your mother. Unless someone has a terminal illness and knows that death is coming at a somewhat predictable time, most of our lives end with an incomplete, I believe.

  2. Hi Sonya,
    I just took some time and read through some of your slices noticing how fresh Jack's death was been and remembering that time of my life. I was spared the focus on the details of life and consumed with my feelings instead.
    And after the first evening here I'm wondering if this place isn't something that might be good for you at some point... check out Shalom Mountain... they have an interesting website. So far so good for me.
    Bonnie K.