Wednesday, July 19

Dear Jim,

It’s been a blah day. I’ve gotten a lot of things done but don’t feel good.

There are many decisions to be made. I hate my job but do not know what to do. The lights make me ill. You were one of the few people who understood my complaints. I’d love to retire, but I could not afford health care for the three years until I’m 65.

I’m sick. It’s incredible to think that the lights bother me so much I can only work half-time.

Yesterday I was talking to a woman. I didn’t want to ask her age. She could have been 25 or she could have been 38.

She wants to work half-time because the field she is interested in is too stressful. She was talking about the fast pace of the job, not the lights. But it made me feel good that somebody else is overwhelmed by work.

You hated your job too. I remember how depressed you always sounded when you called from work on Saturdays. The guys you worked with thought you were nuts for working part-time: “If everybody lived like you man, nobody would have a job.” Then you would get pissed off and say, “You guys can’t stand this place either, but you always buy the newest TV’s and stuff that makes you a slave to the company.”

A lot of times after mom talked with you she would be sad, “Jim sounded lousy.” Poor mom and dad – their two idealistic sons. We’ve brought them so much heart break. They must have thought a thousand times, “Our poor sons. They are so angry and unhappy. What’s wrong with them? They have everything going for them. God help them.”

They prayed for us. Did you pray? I never saw rosaries at your apartment or a statue or anything. After mom died I started going to Mass and I bought two pair of rosaries. One glowed in the dark.

Mass gave me hope for a few years, but really, it’s boring. I lost my glow-in-the-dark rosary. I have a one decade rosary on the table. I hardly ever say a decade, but I kiss the crucifix once in a while.

After dad sold his house we divided his and mom’s stuff. There was not much I wanted. What I really wanted and have is a carving of Jesus hunched over from carrying his cross. But there’s no cross, just the position of his hands to show where the cross would be.

I kiss Jesus’ head once a week. That statue speaks to me. I have a tremendous cross to bear.

I pray every day.

On one of my birthdays before mom died, she sent me a card that said something like To my son the dreamer. We were both dreamers. Both naive, but both able to read people and to shovel it if we had to.

We brought our parents a lot of grief. Too bad for them and for us we weren’t happy.

Love,

Dave