Late Friday afternoon I spoke on the phone to a woman about a cat she owned a few years ago. She recently applied to adopt a new cat from the animal rescue where I volunteer and I needed to find out what veterinarian she used.

As we were chatting, I realized she sounded like someone — Linda Belcher from the animated series “Bob’s Burgers.” I’m not a major fan; I’ve only seen it a few times. But the voice resemblance was so strong that I couldn’t stop laughing after we hung up, and I ran up the basement stairs to tell Mike about it.

 

 

I don’t normally run up the stairs —which aren’t carpeted, by the way — but I did this time in my exuberance. And I broke my toe.

I screamed and hopped around then I fell down and screamed some more. Mike checked it out and deemed it broken. (Since he’s an Eagle Scout, I tend to believe him when it comes to stuff like this.)

It was bruised, swollen and a little crooked. I couldn’t walk without limping, and I still can’t. It’s my first broken bone.

I Googled it and found that going to a doctor would probably be a waste of time since it wouldn’t be splinted. The next day, after a painful trip to Trader Joe’s during which I actually started to cry in the produce section, I kept it elevated and iced. Mike wrapped it in an ace bandage to keep the swelling down.

I spoke to the Linda sound-alike a few more times. I ended up approving her application and on Saturday she adopted a kitten from the off-site adoption center at Petsmart where I volunteer — our 200th adoption! (We opened this adoption center in April 2014, so that’s 200 cats in a year and a half! It’s an exciting milestone.)

I realized I still had a voice mail from the Linda sound-alike on my phone and played it for Mike.

Me: “See! Doesn’t she sound just like Linda?!”

Mike: “Uh, maybe a little. Actually, not really.”

Oh.

Great.

Sigh.

 

I was going to share a photo of my toe, but it's too gross and I don't want to scare you away.
I was going to share a photo of my toe, but it’s too gross and I don’t want to scare you away.

My dad died one year ago today. The last time I saw him was two days earlier, on Oct. 19, when we had lunch at Friendly’s. I’m pretty sure that was his very last meal at a restaurant.

And, as everyone knows, today is also the date that Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd reach in Back to the Future II, Oct. 21, 2015. I gotta say, if my dad had to die, I’m disappointed that it didn’t happen on this date instead.

For one thing, obviously, this is just a cooler date. Right? And also, he could’ve attended our wedding and heard about our trip to Scotland and I could have told him about how we drove through his old Scottish neighborhood. I also would’ve brought him back some shortbread cookies, which that you can get in the US, but they taste better in Scotland for some reason.

Oh well.

I miss him.

I’ve noticed something about how my dad’s death has changed how I feel about Halloween. It’s unfortunate that his funeral was a few days before Halloween, but it’s not like we could’ve done anything about that. I feel like the whole Halloween season has this shitty halo around it now, sort of how my mom’s death, which happened Dec. 13, 2006, created a shitty halo around Christmas. It’s just never the same after something like that happens so close to a holiday.

I’ve never been one of those super enthusiastic Halloween people, anyway.  I like a good party and dressing up can be fun. But there were many years when I didn’t acknowledge it in any way.

This year, though, I can’t help but view Halloween as a silly, hokey thing. (And furthermore, what’s up with our national obsession with zombies?)

Of course, that won’t stop me from going to a Halloween party this year, and I know it’ll be a great time. But I just feel like I just no longer “get it.” Maybe next year will be better, or maybe I’m just getting old.

Life goes on.

 

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At my parents’ 50th anniversary party in 2003.

Caption for featured photo: My family went to Bushkill Falls in the Pocono Mountains when I was 9 or 10 and my dad and I rode these carts down a mountain. I remember being terrified! My dad took this photo and I love how we’re elevated and can see the winding path that runs through the woods, and how nobody else was around. It wasn’t often that we spent one-on-one time together and I’ve always remembered this.

The other night I came home to find a business-sized envelope addressed to me in a woman’s handwriting in blue ink.

“What’s this?” I muttered and opened it.

Inside was my original birth certificate, birth registration certificate from the Office of Vital Statistics, and my Social Security card. There was no note, but there didn’t need to be one, because only one person would be in the position to have them.

I immediately understood why I couldn’t find these things years ago. I’d assumed they got lost in the shuffle during one of my moves. With a mental shrug, I had replaced my birth certificate and SS card as I needed them, and didn’t give it much thought.

Here they were now, in my hands, sent by someone I’ve never met, but with whom I have something in common: A man. For me, it was years ago, and she’s with him currently.

FullSizeRender(32)I don’t know why they were sent, why now, or which party decided to send them. But I received so much more than some pieces of paper.

Having the originals gives me comfort, especially since both of my parents are gone now.

And it also gives me that closure that I never received when things ended. I thought maybe we could meet 30 years from now and have a fine chuckle over the messes we created for each other when we were young and spry, but receiving this envelope makes that unnecessary. When you assume someone you were with for 11 years now hates you, and then they perform a simple act of kindness and you realize they probably don’t, it’s a huge relief.

I briefly considered mailing a thank you note, since Mike and I are about to mail a bunch related to our wedding and we have a box of them. I even thought of three simple and sincere sentences of gratitude. But I decided to send my gratitude into the universe instead.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.