(A cop out. And nod to all the times you said “I don’t know” when I asked you what was wrong.)
The fact of the matter she said. Like facts matter. You can say Please do the dishes but what I hear is The labor you perform is insufficient/You are insufficient/You are too much not enough. She wrapped hands too small for their great strength around the barrel of a needle, made incisions in the cloth left behind at crime scenes, looked deep at the source of hurt so she could turn her back on her own. The fact of the matter hung between. A long forgotten murmurance. A shadow highlighting obstruction. Say things too often and they lose their meaning. The fact of the matter. The matter. The fact. The matter of fact. The matter of fact way she dissected us. Laid the body on a metal slab. Went through the motions. Fingers sure and palms unsweaty as they ran over the upset messy tangle of organs and infected tissue. Say things too often and they lose their meaning. Or take on new ones. Like I love you. Like please do the dishes. Like forever. Like goodbye.
This is the third time that I have been with her on her birthday. And one of the best things about it – and about her in general – is how happy and excited she gets about parties and gifts and special things that we don’t get to do all the time.
One problem with this is that I can almost never resist giving her gifts when they are in the house for me to give. Because her joy is such a beautiful thing to me. Making her smile is the best part of my day.
So here is a message for Frankie on her birthday.
It’s been three birthdays now and you still make me smile every day. Your intelligence delights me. Your smile thrills me. You make every day with you fun and challenging and fulfilling. From making sure that we both eat healthily to creating a great environment for our puppy and taking care of the kitties, you make life so easy.
Thank you for always thinking of me. For being considerate and blunt. For being my cheerleader all the time. You are the best and I love you with my whole heart.
Thank you for making wherever I am feel like home all the time.