Publish the Word
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Angelus -- Chapter 30


 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. Psalms 68:11

                              Chapter 30



A site care nurse from a home health care provider stopped by the following week.  A plump woman with frizzy hair parted in the middle and pulled back into a pointed knob, she took the requisite blood pressure and temperature, then examined Ava's mouth, ears, neck and torso.  She felt for swollen lymph nodes, her eyes distant.  She asked a series of questions from a clipboard.  She was divorced, she told Ava, with two children.  Her son in first grade was asthmatic, and her daughter, who was recovering from strep should have been home instead of at pre-school, if her ex- hadn't skipped the state and stopped her alimony and child support.  She couldn't afford a babysitter on her salary as she was only part-time because of her children's schedule and everything.

The woman placed her instruments into a brown vinyl bag and prepared to leave.  I don't feel so bad now, Ava said sympathetically.

Oh you will, though, the nurse replied.  I like to be upfront, she said.  You will probably feel like you want to die long before you really do.

Thanks for stopping by, Ava said, churning inside as she rose to accompany the woman to the door.  And I hope your daughter gets better soon.

After the nurse's compact car swung out of the drive and chugged down the hill toward town, Ava phoned the health provider.  She asked for someone in charge and then told the woman she had nothing personal toward Mrs. ---, the nurse who had just left, and that she was undoubtedly a fine medical practitioner, but perhaps Ava would advertise for a private care nurse instead.

Maybe she was being insensitive, she thought, after hanging up, but she had her own problems to cope with.  Homecare had been David's idea anyway.  Would it come to being cared for by strangers who would fluff and sponge and poke her?  She hoped not.

Susan Bell appeared at her door that afternoon, apologizing for not phoning, her manicured hand grasping Ava's and holding it until Ava felt uncomfortable.  I was just around the corner, she said, and I thought I'd drop by.   Your husband told me about your leukemia.  I'm so sorry.  I was stunned.  How are you feeling?  Oh, please, no, I can't stay.  I just wanted to tell you not to worry about the paintings for the gallery, your well being is paramount at a time like this.

Ava said she had completed 30 canvases.  Her Paraguay series and new abstractions were ready to be framed if Susan would send someone for them.  Call first, she said.  I have good and bad days, though the bad seem more frequent.

I just don't know what to say.  I was so shocked to hear.  Personally, I don't want to lose one of Door County's best artists.

I appreciate that, Ava said.  After she closed the door, she glanced down at her baggy jogging suit, her pillowy slippers, her bony witch's hands.  She tried to muster strength to fix herself up for David, but unexpected visitors would have to take her as she was. 

She ached at night, unable to sleep, the pain radiating from the interior of her bones as if termites were gnawing her spine, her hips and legs.  Her toes felt like ten cubes of ice.  No amount of heat would penetrate the neuralgia in her back, not rubbing or pressing, and the only way she managed temporarily was when she laid on a tennis ball.  But the dull grinding was so dispersed that even the ball usually failed.   If she soaked in a scalding bath, for the first ten minutes her attention seemed diverted.  One night David tapped on the bathroom door to ask if she was all right.  Can I come in?

I'm okay, she said, grabbing for her towel, too embarrassed to have him see her scrawny, flaccid body whose ruddy color in the steaming water appeared to be a third-degree burn.

David began to linger at home later into the mornings and he returned before dark.  He was tender and solicitous, offering to drive to the Chinese restaurant for the hot and sour soup she liked.  Or he would steep her tea and bring it to her bedside on a folding tray with a poached egg and toast she smothered with grape jelly, the closest to a meal she would eat all day.

One morning he started to bring up the Mayo Clinic, but she cut him off.  I love you David, she said, but whatever happens now, I'm at peace.  You'll just have to respect my wishes.

He stared at her for long time and then patted her hand and left the room.

That evening he announced, Christmas is two weeks to the day.  Julie's final exams are over on the seventeenth.  Do you want me to cut a fir tree for you to decorate?  Are you up to celebrating?  I could string the outdoor lights like we used to.  Whatever you want.

The whole shebang -- that's what I want, she said.


The next afternoon as she lay in bed she became aware of the angel.  He sat on a chair next to the bed, his eyes fixed meditatively on her.  She felt the usual tingling and marvel and she wanted to sit upright and smile and act perky, but there was no perk left inside her.  I feel I'm leaving so much unfinished, Ava said.

Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it cannot bring forth new fruit, he said.

But what about Julie?  She's still so young.  Please tell me she will be all right.

She has an inner resolve, the best of you and her father, strength. compassion, a spiritual light.

I wish I knew if she marries and who and all about her life.

The future is only possibility, the angel said.  But the Most High is gracious and his love boundless.  He closed his eyes and was silent for a moment.  He said, I sense a young man in law school, a good man whose spirit seems drawn to hers.

And David, too.  Will he marry again?

No.  But your leaving will create a desire in him to serve others -- he's already changing.  You will be with him long after you leave.

They sat and listened to the house about them in cavernous silence except for air escaping into the room through the heating vents.  She wanted to stay in this world and recover and live another hundred years if her health was good, longer if it meant life would go on continuously as it always had.  The next world could wait even a decade or two, yes, please, eternity could wait for her.

I wish I could see my brother once more to say goodbye, Ava said.

You will.  He is coming on Christmas eve.

He is?  I'm so glad.  I worry about Udo.  His isolation.  And all that anger.  I hope he remains in contact with Julie and David.  He needs our family.

These prayers will have an effect on their lives even as you speak the words.

But I'm not praying, she said.

But you are, the angel said.  Your thoughts and your words.  These too are seeds which fall to earth. 

When the stabbing pains and unexpected twinges began to double her over, and an onslaught of diarrhea wracked her lower intestinal tract for three days running, mercifully a retired nurse in her mid-60s responded to David's newspaper ad.  She and her husband, an ex-banker from Milwaukee who took the advice of a heart attack several years previously to unwind his life, raised laying hens and stray dogs on an acreage five miles into the country.  She had been a hospice volunteer.  She was as tall as David with Nordic features, a crown of soft, gray curls and round bifocals.

She has a sweet disposition, was David's assessment after her first visit.

Scheduled to come every morning until noon unless Ava needed her longer, Mrs. Williams brought Ava a jar of homemade sweet pickles the next time she came.  Crinkle-cut the size of quarters, the pickles tasted like her mother's and reminded Ava of all the autumn harvests when she was a girl, crisp and tart with a faint garlicky-dill flavor.  Half an hour later Ava threw up the pickle.

Afterwards, she lay on the sofa with a damp washcloth shielding her eyes and listened to Mrs. Williams read aloud from The Rubaiyat of Omar Kayyam, a volume of Persian poetry illustrated with gold leaf Julie had given her years ago.  Pearls of sweat beaded up across her forehead.  She sat forward.  Her hands felt dead.  Mrs. Williams paused and said, your skin is blotchy.  Are you still feeling sick?

Jittery, Ava said.  With cold sweats.

Can you eat half a banana?  You're hypoglycemic so your blood sugar fluctuates.  You need to keep your potassium up.

Mrs. Williams brought the peeled banana on a small plate.  Ava mushed it about in her mouth and swallowed with difficulty.  She asked for her distilled water which she sipped through a straw.  A necklace of purple spots had multiplied on her upper chest like thumb prints.

It could be vascular purpura, Mrs. Williams said, bending close to lightly touch Ava's skin.

What is that?

Hemorrhages in the small vessels.

Oh wonderful, Ava said, annoyed.  Hemorrhages.  Just in time for the holidays.

Two mornings later as Ava lay in bed and watched a small militia of starlings cross and recross her back yard on reconnaissance, she realized her feeders needed to be filled.  David, who normally waited for Mrs. Williams to arrive, had left before eight.  So she wriggled on her jogging pants and hooded sweatshirt and went out across the deck, her first outdoor venture in a week.

Because the wooden steps were iced, she had to grab the railing for balance.  The subzero air needled her lungs.  As she toed her way across the yard, she slipped midway and tore the bag.  A spilled trail of seeds followed her to the feeders and back to the house.  Once inside she began to shiver uncontrollably.  She burrowed under her electric blanket and mentally tried to relax her body.  She thought of Paraguay, how the heat shimmered in waves above the Chaco.  The air, in her memory, felt like water, suffocating and morose and suspending everyone in slow-motion.

When Mrs. Williams let herself in at nine and saw Ava trembling, she immediately began to knead Ava's arms and legs.  Don't bother to scold me, Ava said.  I realize how stupid I was to go out in this weather.  Maybe some hot tea will help -- can you sweeten it with honey?

Ava remained in bed the entire day while Mrs. Williams, despite Ava's protests, vacuumed the house, dusted, watered the plants and read aloud for two hours without pause.  She stayed until David came home late that afternoon.  He had brought a quart of steaming fish boil, but after two spoonfuls Ava shook her head and said, too peppery.  It would wreck havoc on my stomach.  I hate this, David, she said exasperated.  I can't eat anything anymore.  Even prisoners before their execution get a steak dinner.

So you've resigned yourself to the inevitable, David said softly.

She turned her head toward the window where the world beyond was receding into a greying light.  When she turned back, she touched his hand lightly and said, I don't want to leave, but leaving is inevitable, just as our life together has been inevitable and now, right now, I don't regret anything.  He leaned down to hold her and said nothing and kissed her cheek and didn't remove his lips for a long time.  Then he stroked her forehead until she fell asleep.

The next day Ava summoned all her energies for Julie's homecoming.  She washed her hair, dabbed on some makeup so she wouldn't appear too cadaverish; she spritzed the house with floral scents and described for Mrs. Williams's benefit her daughter's many virtues.  Julie burst in late that afternoon laden with laundry, a box of Christmas gifts, her usual mile-a-minute greetings and questions.  She was rosy-cheeked from the cold.  My heater's still stuck, she said.  I froze.  You know, Mom, it's summer now in Paraguay.

I was just thinking about that, Ava said.  Give me fire over ice any day.

Six inches of new snow fell overnight.  As Ava brushed her teeth the next morning, she noticed the whites surrounding her pupils were saffron tinted.  And the skin which sagged at the corner of her eyes was yellowish also.  Liver, she thought, startled to view what she had been told to expect.  People with her type of leukemia didn't die from the leukemia.  Their major organs failed.  They died of kidney infection (and she had suffered a painful discharge a day or so ago).  Or her lungs might fill with fluid, a thought which terrified her, to drown inside her body, prolonged and agonizing.

She and Julie sat on the sofa and talked until noon.  Ava had sent Mrs. Williams off with a list of Christmas presents to buy.  Ava could muster herself to an hour of light activity before she tired, but not into the frigid streets amidst the frenzied shoppers.

Julie seemed remarkably calm about her mother's declining health.  I saw a counselor at school, Julie said, her eyes tearing.  Her speciality is grief counseling.  We talked a lot.  She helped me with my fears of losing you and my anger that you were leaving me.  I'd do anything to keep you here, I would, but that's not realistic.  People die.  Even parents die.  You lost your mother and father.  I know that when you die, something inside me will die too, but you'll still be alive in my memory, in our house here, in your paintings, in the parts of me that are so much like you.

Ava pressed both of Julie's hands between her own.  When did my daughter become so wise, Ava said.  When did you grow into such a wise woman?  You're not my little girl anymore.

Julie reached forward to embrace her mother.  She held her possessively, wet cheek to wet cheek and said, I'll always be your little girl.  Even when I get to heaven, my first question for St. Peter will be, have you seen my mom, Ava Hall?  And you'll probably be painting those gorgeous sunsets, won't you, all that mauve and violet above the bay?  My mom painted that sky, I'll tell my friends.  Maybe even my own children someday.

Ensconced in her down comforter that evening, Ava watched Julie and David interlace strands of colored lights on a nine-foot Christmas tree.  She unwrapped and handed them the decorations, remembering which ones Julie had made in school, which she had inherited from her mother, the German figurines, hardened marzipan and gingerbread, a wooden Nativity scene, miniature crystal bells she and David had found in a fleamarket.  Julie warmed apple cider with cinnamon and cloves, and David led them in an off-key rendition of "Good King Wenseslaus."

Did you know, Julie, that your brother swallowed one of those tiny bulbs when he was two?  Ava waited for David's reaction.  She watched him turn, his eyes finding the memory.

I did the Heimlich on him, David said.  Popped the bulb right out.  That Jeffrey!  Anything that wasn't nailed down went right into his mouth.

I can remember him, Julie said.  I can remember a lot about my brother.

You should write it down, Ava said.


Ava began to surrender herself to sleep, fourteen hours the next days, sixteen hours the day following.  She would wake groggy and stumble to the bathroom, clutching the sink until the whirring in her head slowed.  Her skin became more jaundiced and the fiery cold in her extremities increased, as if the pain were slowly burning itself from her feet and hands toward her heart, the last to ignite.

When the pain becomes too intense, Mrs. Williams told her, we can set up an IV of morphine sulphate. 

I don't know, Ava had replied sardonically.  Do I want my obituary to read that I died a drug addict?

The morning of Christmas eve David said he would be gone a couple hours, but he didn't specify where or why.  From the angel, she suspected he was driving to the Green Bay airport.  Mercifully the day would be clear and warming into the thirties.  Poor Udo, she thought.

Mrs. Williams helped her into a hot bath.  She would be just outside the door, she said, if Ava needed anything.  A new circulatory system? Ava quipped.

She was buff, as Julie described her mother in her new lavender cashmere sweater atop brushed cotton slacks which Julie had bought and insisted Ava open a day early.  They're size three, Julie said, from the juniors department.

Size three?  I haven't worn a size three since I was twelve years old.

Ava steeled herself to not over-react when she saw her brother, but to no avail.  When Evita, followed by Carmela, Udo and David came through the kitchen door at one o'clock, emotion shook her body and she began to cry Oh, my God! as Udo held out his arms for her.

The reunion felt more like a wake, Ava thought, she being the guest of honor, a yellow cartoon character on a beige sofa which might turn into a casket.  They gathered around her on dining room chairs, complimented the Christmas tree, joked about the winter blast that greeted them when they changed planes in Chicago.  She felt smothered by love, but disconsolate too about how she would ultimately disappoint them.  They had come thousands of miles to witness her die.  Why, she wondered, was tragedy the glue which held the universe together?  Why could she not stop patting Udo's hand and repeating, I can't believe you came in the middle of winter.  Her voice seemed splintered and incredulous.  She would be strong for all of them, she thought.  She wouldn't betray her feelings.

Julie led Evita off to her room, their voices meshing Spanish and English in breathless exuberance.  We're online now, Evita said, gushing.  We can email each other.

Mrs. Williams brought them coffee and tuna salad sandwiches she had quartered.  David, who sat on the end of the sofa and rubbed Ava's feet, asked if she felt all right.

I'm running on adrenaline, she told them.  But don't mind me if I doze off.

We have not celebrated Christmas for many years, Udo said, trying to brighten the mood.  Perhaps I shall become bourgeois in my old age.

David said, winking at Ava, what I like about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with the present.  That's a quote from my book, The Portable Misanthrope. 

We should then have Christmas more often, Udo said.

Carmela listened, glistening, her eyes sympathetically searching Ava's.  Her braided, bunched hair was the blackness of a raven Ava had seen that morning on a utility wire.  In her silence she was more comfort to Ava than all the words.  Carmela had smuggled mandioca in her carry-on bag, the sweet vegetable Ava liked, Udo informed them.  She hoped to prepare a special dinner for everyone.

The kitchen is hers, David said, nodding toward Carmela.  You're family, not guests.

Maybe Julie can take you to the super-center, Ava said to Carmela who nodded.

When Udo left to use the bathroom, Ava asked David if he would mind carrying her to her bedroom.  I'd use my cane, she said, referring to the hickory limb beside the sofa she had fashioned into a walking stick, but everyone will think I'm old.  This way they'll think we're newlyweds.

She slept through her special dinner and woke during the night.  It's Christmas, she thought, squinting at the fluorescent numbers floating beside her.  She shifted to her other side, unable to locate any warmth.  She saw the angel at the window peering out.  He glanced at her, impervious, his hands clasped behind his back as if, she thought, he were holding a secret gift.  It's Christmas day, she thought.

And then she heard the wind calling her to the bright whiteness of memory, winter so immutable, the furrowed fields under snow as far as she could see.  The wind, in its soliloquy was cantilating, coming across the vast distance.  If she looked north, above their frozen lane, she could see Ursa Minor and Polaris standing sentry.  She would wake before dawn and tell her mother she had heard sleigh bells.  She would dash into the Arctic gusts, knee deep in their front yard and search the roof for tracks.  Maybe the reindeer don't have to land, her mother would say  from inside her quilted bathrobe.  Maybe Santa Kringle didn't come.  Were you a bad girl this year?  But she wasn't, no, she was never bad.  And her gifts were under the tree, inscrutable until her mother consented and let her tear them open.  We were so poor, she told David once, and we never knew it.

When Ava awoke again to read the clock, the numbers wouldn't stay in place.  She tried to sit up and thought, so now vertigo.  Her hand fumbled for something into which she might throw-up, but finally it was her pillow held to her chin to catch a mucosy blob.  She called David's name weakly into the air.  She sought relief in her fetal curl, her legs so painful she could barely tolerate moving them.  After a few minutes her stomach settled.  She stroked her abdomen, the ideal, flat stomach she had always envied, no flab or rolls to pinch.  Julie's voice woke her sometime later.

Mom?  Are you all right?  What happened?  Did you get sick?  I'll get Dad.

After David stripped her pillow case and brought her a Dixie cup of tepid water which tasted bitter in her mouth, she struggled inside her mind to not let her family down.  Christmas.  The Savior's joyous birth.  Her family, all the way from Paraguay.  She felt so weak, and food, the smell, even the thought of eating made her nauseous.

Later she heard Mrs. William's voice.  I've brought you a present.

Shouldn't you be home with your husband, Ava managed to say.  Isn't this Christmas day?  She rolled open her eyes, saw the metal apparatus beside her bed and let her eyes fall shut again.  Is that a hat rack? she asked.  It doesn't match my decor.

We're going to put a little holiday cheer into your arm, Mrs. Williams said.  A little nutrition.  You want me to spike it?  What do you like?  Egg nog with rum?  Brandy?  You'll feel better in a little bit.  Here's a bell next to you honey, if you need to ring for anything.

Honey?  Nobody's ever called me honey before, Ava said, slurring, drunken.  She felt the bee sting her forearm, then the tape's cinch.  And then she was in Paraguay.

The sun's buttery kiss was so light on her skin.  She was swimming in green, along a leafy avenue.  Inside an emerald taxi.  Her head was out the window, breathing in the sweetness.  So intoxicating, past the green chickens beside the red wheelbarrow.  Splashing puddles of rainwater into the air.  Children were playing soccer in a field as green as the sea.  Her hair was blowing in the warm air, so warm and fragrant.  She could hear church bells ringing, near and far.

She felt David's hand on her forehead, warmer than the air, its slight pressure drawing her back.  She worked her mouth until her thought came out.  I've spoiled Christmas, she said.

No,  no, he said, gentle in the darkness.  Everyone understands.

She struggled to rise higher on her pillows.  David eased her up.  She felt the tubing at her arm and recalled fragments.  What time is it? she asked.  She could hear the faint music of carols from somewhere in the house.

It's still Christmas.  About eight in the evening.  Everyone's just visiting.  Julie and Evita are trying to teach me some Spanish, but my tongue is too thick.

She inhaled deeply, a sour taste in her mouth.  She felt rusted and ancient.  Please do a background check on Mrs. Williams, Ava said.  I think she's poisoning me.

Can you stand the light?  David asked, ignoring her sarcasm.

She covered her eyes and said yes.  Gradually she removed her hand, blinking, sore as if she had been punched in the face.  I feel like crap, she said.

You want anything to drink?

Thanks, but I'm beginning to prefer my cocktails through a tube.  You don't have to swallow.

I'm glad you still have a sense of humor, David said as he settled onto the edge of her bed.

That's about all I've got.

He caressed her forehead again, bending closer until she could feel his breathing on her face.  He said, would you think me the most selfish man on earth if I didn't want to let go of you.

No.  She said.  No.  Say it again.

He laid his other hand on hers.  He said, I don't know what I'm going to do.

She let her eyes close out the watery light, relieved by darkness, his voice inside her.  You'll go on, she said, her own voice wispy.  Love each other, a thought she didn't speak.


When she awoke again she had no sense of time or of where she'd been a blackness, a numbness, cold, so cold she was lucid.  10:55 the glow on her clock.  She rang the bell.  A high-C tinkle, ceramic.  She rang again.  David's backlit face gazed in upon her, the door ajar.  He said, I heard you ring.  Can I get you anything.

Some juice, she said.  When he returned she sipped cool apple, her taste buds still intact, she thought.  Still Christmas? she croaked, a troll's voice.

Still Christmas.  Your brother is snoring on the sofa.  Carmela is baking something for breakfast.  And the girls are listening to music in Julie's room.  Those two are as thick as thieves, aren't they?

Ava smiled, she thought, in the darkness.  They're like long-lost sisters.

David knelt beside the bed.  I've got a gift for you, he said, dangling a silver heart on a chain into a slice of light.  He split the locket open for her to see the images.  Julie and Jeffrey, he said.  The two best things we ever did.  He unhooked the clasp and slid his hands around her neck.  He fastened the chain and arranged the heart below her chin, center chest.  Sorry I didn't wrap it, he said.  There's more presents when you feel better.

He stayed with her.

Tell me what I missed, she said. 

So he led her back into the day and described their exchange of gifts, mid-afternoon dinner, piecemeal conversations, subdued and awkward, he thought, for Udo and Carmela whose English was, well, limited.  She's very gracious though.  I like your brother.  He's well educated, but humble and he appreciates my sarcasm.

I knew you'd like him, she said.


The next morning Julie was next to her, Julie with her blondish hair swept back and upward like wings above her ears.  I'm here Mom, Julie whispered.

Ava smiled, her mouth an elongated crease.  I want you to have something, she said to her daughter.  The voice didn't sound like hers.  Feel under the bed for a book.

Julie's head bobbed down, out of Ava's vision.  Is this it? Julie asked, reappearing.  She held the daybook up for Ava's inspection.  Its handmade pages had ripened, thick and waffled from paint and ink.

I made it for you.

These old letters are in German, Julie said, unfolding and separating paper.

My parents, Ava said.  Her eyes felt like long tunnels she was viewing Julie through.

I'll have Uncle Udo read them to me.  And this old photo?

Ava angled her head to better see the photo of Eva Braun.  Me as a baby, she said, with my mother.  She sighed, her breath tattered at the edges.  Inhaling seemed such an effort for so little.  She heard Mrs. Williams off to her right fussing with Ava's arm, inflating the blood pressure cuff, her voice now instead of Julie's, softly insistent.  The sounds separated themselves from meaning and in her ear waves lapped them away.

When she surfaced into the room later, she was surrounded by everyone:  Julie and David on either side of her, and along the wall in front, Udo, Carmela, Evita silently staring in her direction.  Not a very lively party, Ava said.  We need some music.

Whatever you like, David said.

Udo came to the foot of her bed.  She raised her hand toward him, her white, thin hand levitating until he took it and bent his cheek to it.  I love you, my sister, he said.

I love you, my brother.

Even lifting her eyelids required so much from her.  She let them slide shut momentarily.  When she pushed them open again even more people had entered the room.  Too many to count.  Her sight was smeared.  She sought the few particles of energy still caroming inside her and sent them to her eyes.  She felt incarcerated inside so much flesh.  Her eyes cleared and she saw, who?  Who were-- ?  Have you ever seen so many angels, she said, unclouded.

What angels? Julie asked.

Everywhere.  She saw her angel more distinctly than the others.  His hand rested on Julie's shoulder.  Julie was glancing to her father and then toward the others but they weren't seeing, were they?  She didn't feel the bright hand?  Ava relaxed her eyes, let them go inert and blind again.  She heard Mrs. Williams say, she's drifting in and out.  Coma, she said, or did she say comma?  It felt like a pause between here and somewhere, a destination she was yielding to.

No more pain and she was grateful for that, how the mind unhitched itself, how those about her drew in the sparks she was giving off and they were unaware and just as blind, but she could feel them speaking at her ear, one by one, saying goodbye.  She could feel the warm glow of each.  They were filling her, pouring in the liquid gold of their love.  So this, she thought, is how it will be.  Sustenance for the journey.  How could she carry so much?

Her eyes fluttered, two brown birds desiring release.

David's face was close.  She heard him say, we're here for you.

David.  Her David.  The sensation of him seemed to lift her.  Light, she felt so light and feathery.  His voice embraced her.

Kiss me, David, she thought she said.  Kiss me with passion.

She felt his lips and simultaneously felt her spirit soaring up through him, warm and moist, lingering, the kiss unbroken, the room exhaling, the room and sky and air and light all miraculously the same.


At her funeral in a small church overlooking the bay, Udo played the first movement of Sonata for Ava on a small Wurlitzer electric organ.  David announced in a brief eulogy that he was establishing a fund to build a civic gallery in memory of his wife.  And at home later the same day during their open house for family and friends, Julie told her father she was switching her major to studio art because it would be a shame to get rid of all her mom's wonderful painting materials.