Autumn's time

I’ve been keeping a vial of Dad’s ashes in my bag, on my commute in and out of the city, driving to and from Parlin. We haven't had a chance to spread them in Keyport just yet. Makes me feel like Dad is still with me, even if in a small way. Guess that’s why Mom likes being at home with Dad’s ashes. She can feel that she’s at home with Dad.

Every time I enter Mom & Dad’s home in Jersey City, for a moment I recall those last few weeks – how Al & I stayed over, went back and forth . . . how I would walk straight to Mom & Dad’s bedroom to see how Dad was doing . . . how I would chat with Dad to see where his thoughts were that day . . . how I would play one of two music CDs (guitar renditions of Ilocano folks songs) from our family friends, the Tangonans . . . or I would put the TV on the
Escape instrumental music channel . . .

We are all still adjusting to the
‘new normal’ which means we get to enjoy Mom’s company on the weekends in Parlin. We pick her up on Friday night and drop her off back at her home on Monday morning before we go to work. And in the meantime, I call Mom at least three times a day – once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once at night. Unless we happen to be in Jersey City in the middle of the week to have dinner with Mom or attend to some official business like installing a security system, addressing last will concerns, or tying up some loose ends on Mom and Dad’s finances.

I know that the
'new normal' offers much in terms of peace for Dad, Mom, Al and myself. I welcome Autumn’s leaves turning color and time.