I started using a site called OhLife last year. It’s sort of a diary — it sends you an email every day and you reply and it saves your messages and then sends them back to you. The ideal scenario is that five years from now, you see something you wrote and feel charmingly nostalgic. Oh, I remember that, what a good choice I made, how fun that was, whatever.

Holy bad words, I picked the wrong year to start using it.

Yesterday, we worked on cleaning out the house. It had to be done. I have no argument with that. It should have been done nine months ago. Maybe a year ago even. I think a year ago I might have cried my way through packing up my mom’s things for Goodwill with resolution and dignity and sorrow, but not despair. Yesterday, not so much. I want to keep it all. Everything. She cared about those things. She valued them. I look at them now and think, this was from the trip they took to Russia and they bought this in New Orleans and we got this together on our trip to London and she loved these dishes and I am just unwilling, unable, to let anything go.

I hate clutter. But I miss my mother.

So today’s OhLife? Said, “Michelle’s tumor is back. She’s having surgery on Friday. Pretty sure that’s enough said, but until I found that out, it was a nice day. I feel…numb. Not sure there are words, really.”

 I stayed numb for a long while. I wish I was still numb. The hardest part is the moments when I think, I am so, so, so sad, I should call…and there I stop. Because I should call my mom or I should call Michelle. They are who I reach out to when life is simply unbearable — my mom for the unconditional love, Michelle for the unconditional support.

And they’re gone.