Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Nope. Still Winter.


It’s been four weeks now since the hospital sent Karen home to die. Three and a half weeks since she passed from this world. Somehow I lived through Christmas without collapsing into a complete blubbering mess—at least, not constantly. I do start every morning off with a cup of coffee and a good cry, though. 

The next test comes in two weeks, on our 30th wedding anniversary. Then, after that, her birthday. Somewhere in there we’ll have her requiem mass, although the plans for that still remain surprisingly up in the air. Helpful consumer hint: never die in December, if you can possibly help it. With everyone else in the throes of Christmas madness, it’s really hard to book a church for a funeral.

I want to give a shout-out to all my friends who have made an heroic effort in these past four weeks to pick up all the jagged broken pieces of me and glue me back together. Chuck, Mike, Sharon, Cindy, Henry, Pete, Lori, Beth, Eric and Jeanne: I can’t thank you enough. Thanks especially to Guy Stewart, who has been trying to keep Stupefying Stories going by mining the site for old columns and bringing them back to the surface as new posts. I’m slightly amazed by some of the things Guy has found and bubbled back to the top; in some cases slightly embarrassed, too. Did I really write that? What was I thinking?

I am nothing like back to “normal” yet. I doubt I ever will be. Despite all the time we had to plan for this, it’s clear now that I will be spending a long time cleaning up all the flotsam and jetsam left behind in the wake of Tropical Storm Karen.* Once in a while I find something that has me scratching my head and wondering, Huh? Why did she do this? Why did she hang onto that? More often though I find something that brings me to tears and has me loving her and missing her all the more.

Nonetheless, we have a publishing company to run, and I’ve been sitting shiva long enough. Beginning Monday, January 2nd, we will be returning to normal operations, as I presume that by then I will have at least a rough sketch for what our new normal will look like. Be advised, though, that as Guy Stewart can attest, Karen was a moderating influence on me, and Bruce Bethke Unfiltered might not be quite the same calm, kindly, patient person you remember. 

Upwards and onwards,
Bruce Bethke

* An apt nickname: she was a force of nature. To give you some idea of what she was really like, her keychain fob good luck charm was Tatsumaki. If you need that explained, Google One Punch Man.


GuyStewart said...

You are, as always, very welcome. It's the least I can do at this time...