That very year, the days were the same as this one.
Monday, May 1, 1995 I packed and planned.
Pack baby’s clothes.
Pack his play wallet with expired credit cards
Pack the Matchbox cars
And the chunky book he cannot tear,
Pajamas, toothbrush, jacket, little jeans,
Sun hat, sunscreen for the beach.
We are headed to the Hamptons
Where we used to live.
Wave goodbye to the other three boys and their dad,
As they roll out of the driveway headed north.
Tuesday, May 2, 1995
It’s just the two of us.
Who dropped us off at the airport?
I can’t remember now.
It’s important but it doesn’t come to me.
I push the umbrella stroller through RDU
In the Southwest terminal.
He wants the noisy, battery operated truck
I decline and he fusses and cries.
I offer him some chips in exchange.
Doesn’t work but I don’t cave.
We board and he nurses to keep his ears from popping
He falls asleep in my arms as we fly.
We land at La Guardia and the Toyota Previa awaits.
We are so glad to be altogether again,
Nicholas, Peter, Oliver, Shep and now Gregory and me.
We stop at my grandparent’s cemetery because it is close.
Then, to my mother’s house in Queens
Which is difficult because, she is
And typically she is both mean to me
And clawing onto my neck in desperation.
We stop to visit Shep’s aunt in Long Island
Too many boys in a household without kids
Makes for too many nervous moments
And when one gets stung by a bee
There is a trip to the ER too.
I try to keep my cool, but not so well.
We stop to see my lifelong friend in Long Island
And eat a chicken dinner with her family
While Gregory puts his handprints on her wall mirrors.
We finally drive out to Southampton
Where we stay in a house a friend is loaning us
And it is right next to our old house.
Oddly, Gregory goes to sleep snuggled with his dad
In a bed away from mine.
Wednesday, May 3, 1995
I want to read The Southampton Press
But kids won’t allow
I am frustrated and resentful
And fight for my rights laying on the sofa.
We eat lunch but Gregory keeps leaning over the deck rails
Which makes us all too anxious so we head inside.
Should have let him fall, in retrospect.
After lunch, we head into town
And stroll on Jobs Lane and Main Street
We run into the mother of Peter’s Little League friend
His name was Rocco, but I can’t remember hers.
Gregory is trying to push Peter in the stroller
Because his bee stung leg hurts and we’re all giggling.
We head back to the house and try to decide whom to visit first
The choice of seeing newborn trumps all others
Including my best friend.
We will go to Westhampton after dinner.
Shep makes us spaghetti
Which covers Gregory’s blue and white outfit
So I change him into a yellow sweatsuit because it is chilly.
We head out to visit the newborn and her mom
Who I knew from La Leche League meetings.
Her baby nurses, my toddler wanders in and out
He nurses too for a bit but resumes his travels.
The new baby’s brothers and two of mine do same.
Gregory finds a swimming pool
And we all find hell on earth
That appears as a floating yellow sweatsuit.
Thursday May 4, 1995
Hold tight in arms.
Fall to knees
It is done.
There will be no resurrection.
Six lives lost in the wind.
Unable to stand up.
Damned to repeat the days
Once a year
Though the agony lessens
And the torment subsides,
The unquenchable love remains.
It is the same four days