Thursday, May 6, 2010


not sure why.
somehow i got to thinking
about the notes that liz
used to write
to me in the
blank cards
she used to buy.

i think i have
them all.
or at the very
least, most of them.
can’t look at them yet.
can barely stand
to think about them.
i will never
see another.

she would come across
them, months, years later
(usually while cleaning my desk)
and would say,
“why do you keep this shit?”
“i don’t know.”
is all i could
ever come up with.

but even before
she was gone, this ephemera
from these important moments
was something that
i knew i had to keep.
i just couldn’t
articulate why.

recently i
came across a couple
of notes i had
written to her
before heading off
on business trips.
they weren’t in
fancy letter-pressed
cards or on that
expensive-ass stationary
that only a woman
would buy.
they were scrawled out
on 8.5×11 paper,
or on sheets of
lined notebook paper
thoughtlessly torn from one of
those composition books
i’d stolen from work,
the ones with
the black and white covers,
or on any scrap
of paper i could
find as i ran out
the door to
catch my cab.

as i find these
things i think,
“why did she keep this shit?”
i wish i could ask her.


  1. I love your blog. I was widowed 5 years ago when my husband died from pancreas cancer. This week is the anniversary of all the services we held for him. My boys and I do our best every day, but they were very young when he died and I miss him still so much. I also write a blog about loss, grief and healing Memoirs from Widow Island,
    Thank you all for sharing your journey.
    Chris Thiele

  2. I hope some day that you can look at your notes. They really are a treasure. I regret being one of those people who doesn't "keep that shit". I don't have a single card from any occassion, instead, I have kept a 'To Do' list I found in his stuff just to see his handwriting.

  3. It has been a little over 3 months since I lost Gary, my husband and best friend. I find myself angry and wondering why our love had to be shorten, I look at other couples and wonder what did they do that we didn't do to enjoy 30 or more years of marriage. I miss my husband, I have no joy in my life.

  4. My late husband left me notes on post-its nearly every time he left the house and I wasn't home yet or wasn't going along with him. I would find them as I went through papers and boxes after he died. I still find new ones, now and then.

    My second husband leaves me little notes here and there after I told him the reason I kept the post it's was because they were tangible. Proof. That he existed. That our love was real. There is (was always really) a nagging in the back of my brain that warned that nothing is forever. Change is inevitable. People love you and then they are gone - for whatever reason.

    So I kept notes, cards and still do in my own random way.

  5. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you.

  6. I love this. I only had six years with my love, and it wasn't nearly long enough... A year ago when we said our wedding vows, I thought we still had 'happily ever after' ahead of us. I've saved all his cards and many of his emails, but I wish I had more.

  7. Thank you for sharing this. I too keep every single piece of paper my husband writes on. He like you does not buy cards it is always on a piece of paper, but the words on those pieces of paper mean more to me then any card he could ever give me. I will one day show these to my grandkids and maybe even his own kids so they too can know the kind of man he is inside even when it is hard for him to show it. Your little girl will love reading what her mommy wrote to will give her a clearer picture of her mom and maybe she will even hear in her mind her mom saying those words. GOD bless you!