This man’s life


Still not ready to give his things away, but we need – I need space. So, Mark’s stuff is moving from his closet to the attic, for now. Most of it.

Some things, like the, um, awesome badger hat (100% real badger) goes to Mark’s brother. Maybe tomorrow.

Some of it stays with me until the end. The Robert Earl Keen shirt. Mine now. The New York (effin’) City shirt that I bought in NYC right after 9-11. I knew Mark would love it, and he did.  I also knew he’d never wear it. He didn’t.

Some will be saved for the boys. The “Dogs Playing Poker” print, and matching necktie. The souvenir Cowboys football. The green paper shirt that Mark wore in the delivery room, with Caleb’s footprints barely visible on the pocket. (No footprints from Ethan. Despite the fact that he was born screaming his tiny baby head off, Ethan had breathing problems and was rushed away by the neonatal team.)

Some of it…. Who knows? Mark left few instructions. I still don’t know whether to keep his journals or have a ceremonial burning. (I know I’m not reading them!) Mark and I loved the “Radiation Man” superhero shirt that a friend made for him, but what do you with that?

And the blue shirt, the bundle on the bottom right of the photo. It was in the dirty clothes bag from the hospital, and I slept with it pressed to my face until the smells faded. It fades fast, a person’s scent.

All these “things” are not him but they can bring him back in an instant — but then, he fades away again, and it all goes back to just stuff.


About Vicki Caroline Cheatwood

Writerly. Rebooting. Evolving. Searching for great chicken salad.
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2 Responses to This man’s life

  1. kecameron says:

    Your entries have been an opportunity for me to revisit the roller coaster ride that was/is the death of my husband nearly 20 years ago. I still have a small box of his clothes in my attic. That said, life goes on. Despite certainty that my luck in the “good man” lottery ended with Byron’s death I am blessed with a wonderful partnership of ten years. Thank you for sharing your journey. Mine is confined to the pages (old school) of my journals.

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