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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Conversations With the Dead: 8/13/80 Seabrook, Texas (1307 Bellgrove)

Dear Teresa,

You may still be gone with your girlfriend but thought I'd write anyway. Wanted to send you these pictures of Brandy. Red built her a scratching post with a wide top so she can have her food and water on it and the dogs can't get to it. It's got a hole in the top so she can get up there easily. She just loves it! And you won't believe this, but Charles and Puddin' both play with her now. In fact, Puddin' has gotten so playful lately. She just romps and plays with Charles all the time, and she never did that before. I think she's just calmed down a lot and decided she's "at home".

Scotty's doing real good. He finally told Liz that they'd have to break it off, and last weekend he and Bob went up to Lake Whitney for a NA & AA convention (a lot of young people go) and he really had a good time. He's been making a lot of meetings with Bob and it sure has helped him. His attitude is a lot better. Nancy and her mother were promoting this Liz thing but it didn't work. When you get time, why don't you write him? It would make him feel real good. Elizabeth's husband is going to fix my car and then Scotty wants to buy it from me because Red is going to get me one. Elizabeth goes on vacation in about a week, so I'll have it fixed by then. I've been using Bob's old truck when I need it.

Red got me a washer and dryer the other day. When I told him I went to the laundromat every week for seventeen years with Jay, he nearly croaked, and the next day, I had a washer and dryer! Isn't he something?

Sure thought we might be in trouble with hurricane Allen, but it missed us. Sure am glad too! Just get the house fixed up and have a hurricane!

Charlotte called me last week to talk to me about Nanny. Sure sounds to me like she had a stroke. Really worries me. so I called her and gave her my phone number. She was real nice. I'm going to work at it, and see if we can't get things "right" again. Maybe it's time. It would just kill me if anything happened to her and we still were on bad terms. Just not right.

What did everyone think of you taking a plane back? I bet Charlene thought you were "brave". What did Jan and Charlotte think? I can't wait until Christmas so you can come down. That will really be neat.

Well, guess this is all for now. Write when you can and fill me in. We all love you.

Mother, Red, Scotty, Puddin', Charles, Brandy & Sam


Brandy is my tortoiseshell Manx cat. One day Red will dip the dogs for fleas, then he will start to dip Brandy and I will question the safety of putting a small cat in dog dip. He'll look at me like I'm stupid and dip the cat anyway. Later that night she will wake me up with a paw on my arm, as if to let me know she is in some kind of trouble. She will hide under my bed and give birth. We hadn't known she was pregnant. The babies were stillborn.

Since the return address on this letter is Red's address and the only place you could possibly put a washer and dryer, he did not buy it for you, Mother. He bought it for you to wash his socks and underwear.

You're calling Dad "Jay", like you did when ya'll were married. I think this means that you are feeling the same security you felt with him now, that you see a long future ahead of you with Red. You hope you can make seventeen plus years with Red, too. You won't, despite choosing a 7/7 wedding date at 7:00 PM in 1982. I'm sad because I wanted you to be happy, but I never could imagine you with any other man as long as you were with Dad, and I knew Red didn't love you, despite what he would tell us later at Jack Rowe Funeral Home as Charlotte, not Red, foot the bill for your funeral.

Nanny is a little over a year away from her own death. She will call for you when it's time.

It is difficult to close this letter because it is the last from you. It's like saying goodbye again. It feels a bit like when I turned forty-six last year and we stopped sharing ages. I am traveling without you. These are years I never watched you live, ages you never made.

The next two posts will be letters from David to both you and Charlotte. There will be a letter from Charlotte to Nanny. The last two posts will be a note from you to Charlotte giving her the date/time of your wedding to Red, then a final letter to Charlotte, the last of your letters to anyone. You will tell her all about the "safe" medication Dr. Faust put you on to help you with mood swings. Seven months later the medication will prove itself "unsafe".

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