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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

Michael has gotten real hipster with his beard and mustache. If he uses enough beard wax, he can twirl his mustache up into a curl on either side of his face. Yes, it's a little bit ridiculous, but I cannot express how much I love it. It's a little bit hilarious and a little bit sexy. Lately he's been thinking about suspenders and adding them to his work clothes. He wears dress clothes to work with a tie and everything. Over the weekend, he bought himself a set of suspenders and this morning he put on his blue and white checked shirt with his pink paisley tie and his new suspenders. I can't even. I came undone. I mean, usually I get a little turned on when he's all dressed for work, especially when he rolls up his dress shirt and his forearm is showing, but add the suspenders and well...I of course returned the favor by saying something about slowly taking all of that off him and rendered him speechless. 

That's something I'm really good at. Michael can talk quite a bit, but I can take a handful of words and say them just right as to turn him into a stammering rendition of Porky Pig. 

Then, I get a phone call reminding me of a life before this one. I sent in paperwork weeks ago to close out an account that Chris had had. I didn't know about the account until recently. I had supplied them with a death certificate and a notarized family tree starting and ending with me and Chris. Yet the place still had to call and ask me if I had obituary. I went blank. Obituary? I stumbled around online looking for one. I finally came across one that was in the Chickasha News. It contained a bad photo of Chris and a short paragraph announcing the memorial service. The whole thing made me wince. I can't believe I didn't write or have someone write and submit a proper obituary when Chris died. I didn't even think about it at the time. I didn't really think about a whole lot of anything at the time. 

"Couldn't pay my respects to a dead man. Your life was much more to me." - Neko Case

I could only imagine what the woman on the other end of the line thought as I sent her a link to this homely obituary. I wanted to tell her that she should have heard the things his friends said about him at his service or to go read through his facebook page. We all thought (still think) the world of Chris. We were just too surprised by his death to write about him. When I hang up the line, I'm perturbed that they would even be calling me to ask about an obituary. Don't you think a death certificate is enough? What about that whole depressing little family tree I sent in? The woman did ask about that. "No children?" said in a voice dripping with pity. I wanted to respond "thankfully, no." but instead I just replied "no." A widow is sad enough on her own without the added element of children.

This is almost a typical day. There's always a trigger. Some triggers are worst than others, like that phone call or when that one Mumford and Sons song starts playing. I see Chris, throwing his head back and opening his mouth wide to sing like a Muppet. This image is replaced with an image of Michael making a bad motorcycle sound as he drives us down the road and then watching him crack himself up over it. I'll read some political crap in someone's feed on Facebook and think about how Chris would write a response so sharp you wouldn't know you were cut until you noticed the blood and fallacy of your own statements. I always look at Michael when getting ready to leave a tip because he does the math without even really thinking and it is always correct. Chris genuinely laughing at something, probably the Simpsons. Michael laughing while twirling the ends of his mustache. The memories I have swirl together with the memories I'm making.

It is not a bad blend of colors.