It’s been one year and one day since Joe passed. It was yesterday, around 10am.
Chanel and I spent a good part of the past two days cleaning out Joe’s basement office. It seems like he saved every scrap of paper he scribbled on over the past thirty years. He didn’t of course, but it seemed like it at times. My nose has been flowing like a toddler’s with a cold from all the dust and mold that has collected and grown on his books and papers. But it’s gone. It’s empty. Just a few books left on the five bookshelves the man had down there (this is on top of the eight bookshelves in the living room).
Found lots of fun little mementos. For example, a letter that I scrawled out when I was five or six: "I hate Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan is crazy. Ronald Reagan doesn’t know 10×10." Ah, the effect parents have on their children’s politics. We also found my report cards from grade school, which perhaps explains why I didn’t choose a more challenging multiplication task for that icon of Republican politics: "Michael needs to work harder on his multiplication tables from 6 to 9." Still not good at six through eight, but I figured out the nines.
We also started the leaving bits of Joe all over P*******n. Mom brought five ziploc baggies of his ashes on a walk along the D&R canal. Finn, Ellie, Chanel and Mom each dumped a bag of Joe along the canal. I saved mine, and on the ride home, I deposited little bits all over: at Borough Hall, at Morven next door, at Aquinas House (where Joe first lived in P*******n when he was still a Jesuit), and at the theological seminary (where Joe was a Ph.D. student, and where mom and Joe first lived after they got married).
Mom admitted that she hasn’t been able to banish her recollections of Joe’s last moments. I suggested she write it down. I know that my blog entry about Joe’s last minutes on this Earth helped push it out of my mind.