The beach at Port Townsend , Washington
we visited over the summer
It's three am and I can't go back to sleep. I look up at the stars from our window above the bed. The night is clear and crisp. When I would lie awake at night, worrying about the fire burning in the National Forest getting closer. Scott would comfort me by saying if you can see the stars, that means there is no smoke, so it's okay.
The fire is no longer burning. Something much worse happened that I didn't anticipate. Looking back, memories of the last few days before Scott's death surface. I think to myself were these signs, signs he would be leaving soon.
A few days ago, I was in the large bathroom. In the window, I was surprised to see a beautiful Siamese cat. She was perfectly groomed, her eyes sparkled. She didn't seem to want to have anything to do with me. She looked at me and took off. What was a purebred, well kept Siamese doing in the middle of a property on the top of a mountain, no neighbors close by. I called to Scott, there's a Siamese here. He came running out from the bedroom to look for her. I thought to myself, I wonder if it is Ming, Scott's childhood cat he spoke so fondly of. There was always a sense of pride and mystery when he talked about her. Ming used to travel with his family on road trips, wherever they stopped for the night, she would jump out of the car, explore the area, and come running back when his dad started up the car the next morning to continue the next leg of the trip.
A couple of days before Scott died, he was working in the yard. I asked him if he wanted me to stay with him. He said no, it's okay, recognizing I was anxious to write. If you could just bring me some lunch, he asked me, that would be nice. I went back to the house and made him a sandwich and grabbed a banana. I brought it to him. I remember him telling me what a good day he was having, he loved working outside, he was burning yard clippings, the first real burn day of the season. We finally had enough rain. "I love this kind of work, we used to do this at the City". He seemed happy and content to be working outside. I smiled at him and started back up to the house. In the middle of the hill, I turned back to see him place his lunch on the table. I thought to myself. I should walk back and go sit with him while he eats. He would like that, then I let the thought float away, and I continued back to the house. I had an unsettling feeling that I had missed an opportunity to be with him.
The morning on the day he died, we woke up at six a.m. I got out of bed and asked him if he was getting up. He was always up before me. He said "no, I think I will stay in bed for a little bit". I started for the kitchen to make my coffee and than stopped myself. I got back in bed with Scott. He said, "what are you doing, I thought you were making your coffee". "I put my arms around him and said "no, I want to snuggle with you instead". Scott laughed and said "you mean snuggle time is more important than coffee". I said "yes always".
Later that day, I made him breakfast for lunch. We sat together and talked about our trip to Arizona, the desert, a bar we swear was a mirage that Scott found in the middle of nowhere, years later, he couldn't locate it on a map. We went over almost every detail on the trip. The lunch we had at Williams, the wild donkeys at Oatman, the visit with his parents when we had our coffee with them in the morning, our stay at the Grand Canyon. We talked and talked for over an hour. Scott dozed off in the chair next to me and I started to write about a Siamese we took care of at a house sit in Portland over the summer. I remembered how Scott was so excited to meet this cat. He couldn't wait to befriend him, hold him on his lap. He kept talking about Ming, telling me more stories on our drive to Portland to meet him. In Portland, the Siamese followed Scott everywhere, he watched Scott from the window in the living room while Scott worked in the yard. Scott was so happy when after a couple of days, the cat settled on his lap with Scott in an awkward position on the couch. Scott didn't want to move and disturb the cat from his nap on top of him. I was so happy the cat had took to him.
How could I know Scott would be gone that evening.
Our life was so rich in experiences, one after another. What is that word he would say. I think it's "serendipity honey", I answered every time he asked me.
It is still dark outside, the stars are so bright. Two days. Three days. It seems like the days have been years. Everything has slowed down now while our life together passed by so quick. I am going to sit here until the sun rises hoping for my signs from Scott to carry me through the rough waters I will face today.