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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

Michael and I use a calendar app called Cozi to organize dates because it is a calendar app that we can use on multiple devices. When I add something to the calendar through my iPhone, it shows up on Michael's Android (or whatever phone he has). Cozi also pulls from a Random Act of Kindness calendar and we get little reminders to do things like buy a homeless person a meal or be nice to a strange and then it reminds us to take out the trash. Sunday, Michael said "According to Cozi, tomorrow's Laugh Out Loud Often and Share Your Smile Generously Day." My reply was "That sounds about right because tomorrow would be Chris's birthday." Meaning today. Today would be Chris's forty sixth birthday. 

I am usually bombarded with Facebook notification to wish Chris a Happy Birthday! or someone has wished Chris a Happy Birthday. That's not happening this year because I have managed to fuck up Chris's Facebook account. Back in December, maybe even Christmas Day, I discovered that Chris's Facebook account had been hacked. I know his account was hacked because Chris sent me a message through Facebook. Getting an email from a dead person is creepy and not at all helpful during the holiday season. Any way in my attempts to hack into Chris's hacked account, I ended up locking his account. I thought I had gone through the process of unlocking that account, but I noticed a few weeks ago that Chris was no longer in my friends list. When you search for him, he doesn't exist. Which actually makes sense because Chris doesn't really exist any more. Chris is dead. I am working on getting his account unlocked so we can at least turn it into a memorial page. 

I woke up at 3:00 AM Sunday morning to the Cabbage screaming. I opened the door to find her standing in the living room, yelling at Michael to wake up and crying because she had a nose bleed. She looked like she had just stepped off the set of the latest slasher film. I took her into the bathroom and cleaned her up, calmed her down and got the nose bleed to stop. I put her back to bed and then went through the process of trying to wake Michael up to go lay with the Cabbage. After the fifth time of telling Michael about the Cabbage's nose bleed he finally looked at me and said "Well..I didn't know any of this." He got up and went to the Cabbage's room. Later in the day, the Cabbage squirted soap into her eye during bath time which brought on another round of screaming along with a nose bleed. Micheal started getting mad because he couldn't tell why the Cabbage was screaming because she was incoherent. I made him step away and once again found myself cleaning her up, calming her down (so I could rinse out her eye) and stopping a nose bleed. Once she was dressed, she sat whimpering while I brushed her hair. She let out a loud whining "Am I going to die?!?!?". 

My first instinct was to tell her the truth but then common sense clicked on. I figured that it wasn't a good idea to tell a six year old that, yeah...someday, you're going to die. Instead, I explained that soap in the eye is not life threatening, it just stings a whole lot. I continued to brush her hair in an out of body sort of way, letting my brain float somewhere far away. It's a practice I perfected during the summer when their complaining would reach a limit I could no longer bare. I would imaging getting in my car and just driving away somewhere. Wow, my life sure is different then it was five years ago when I was frantic to make Chris's birthday a good birthday for him, seeing as it was his last and all. He never complained about it, but Chris was not one to complain. The guy had a tumor on his liver, blocking his bile ducts for more than two months before he would finally admit that his pain was bad enough to go the emergency room. Maybe that's why I have a low tolerance for complainers and this entry feels a little derailed.  

Laugh out loud often and share your smile generously. I might be struggling with that today, but on most days I think I share my smile with others. I admit that I don't laugh out loud as often as I used to, but I still laugh daily. Some time I purposefully think back to a moment where Chris said or did something that made me fall over with laughter. I never have to think too hard, because it was pretty much a daily occurrence. I take a moment to contain a fit of giggles over the memory and then I go about my day a little lighter.