Had to tell one of my mom’s exes of her passing. Just now. One of the stranger things to happen to me recently, in a season of fairly strange things. He has a unique name; I buzzed him in without hesitation. Did he know? Did he not know?
He didn’t know. He was devastated. “She was so young,” we agreed. I found him a memory card and program (I managed not to point out the blatant typo), and we exchanged numbers. He would drive my mom to visit my aunt Greta, he said, as she was dying from ALS. He was relieved to hear my mom’s youngest sibling was still alive, and nodded knowingly when I described our estrangement.
His accent was incredibly heavy, and he said he was Jamaican, “of course.” I told him my dad’s people are from Barbados, and I’m leaning into learning more about them. He perked up. “Barbados has some fine people! They’re known for reaching their goals!” He’s a landlord with a home in Jamaica. He says he’ll keep in touch. And that’s what happened on this early Monday afternoon, the last Monday in January, two days before the anniversary of when mommy fell ill.