I accept my own mortality.  It’s the mortality of those I love that I can’t accept.

Empty Can of Anchovies

Years ago I failed as a good Russian wife.  Instead of having a meal prepared when my husband returned from work he would find me drawing the discarded parts of the meal that remained only partially prepared on the counter.  I found the head and spine of the fish I had filleted totally irresistible and spent the next three days working on a stipple drawing of the bones.  I never did get around to cooking the fish.

I love to cook, but am rarely given the opportunity since my husband, Tom, also loves to cook and goes to bed early.  It take me hours and hours to prepare a meal.  I like to listen to music, sip wine, dance a little, draw a little, and finally gather it all together to enjoy in candlelight.

Tonight I made supper.  I wanted to stop to draw the anchovies, curled snugly around giant capers, nestled together in the tin.  The fish bones came to mind.  I chopped up the anchovies and put the empty can aside for later.

I am not ready for my children’s father to be diagnosed with cancer.  I am sorry about a lot of things.  I am sorry that I never cooked him the fish.  I am sorry that I was not the perfect mate.  I am not sorry that I married him twice and I am not sorry that I divorced him twice.  I still love him.  Together we made three incredible children, Alexis, Nicole and Michael.  How could I not love him?  I also love his wife, Karen, who has been a wonderful step mother to my children and who is a far better mate for their father than I ever could have been.  Still, I love him, and I feel helpless, watching from the outer circle of his life.

I hope that the cancer will be treated successfully and that my children will be able to enjoy their father’s company for many more years to come.

Drawing: Drawn first with fountain pen followed by washes of watercolor.  Drawn after dinner was cooked, eaten and cleaned up.

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