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 Category:  Commentary and Philosophy Non-Fiction
  Posted: May 3, 2019      Views: 40

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I have been writing ... well since I learned to spell. I was the weird kid in grade-school who cheered when teachers assigned essays. I kept a log-book for my family's boat as early as 11. My first novelette was finished at 18. My eighteenth n - more...

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A family tradition
"Tuna Juice" by Relda Halbert

It’s funny what gets to you.

A surge of memory.  An after-church tradition.

A can of tuna is on the counter.  I dice onion and the distinctive odor cues Bud to say, “Oh, boy!” He joins me in the kitchen.  Sammy parks at my feet staring at me hopefully, thumping his tail with abandon.  Mug’s weaves figure 8’s around my ankles, stropping and purring like a Geiger-counter.

And the can’s not even open.

Then the special part – Bud’s part.  He wrestles with the can-opener.  He drains the juice in two saucers and puts them down near the pet-food bowls.  I mix tuna salad, as Bud stands by, chuckling while Sammy and Mugs lap up every drop.

Sandwiches made, we sit (Bud, me, the dog and the cat) before the TV.  Bud and I eat happily while we watch Nascar or some sport-fishing, alligator-wrangling, forge-welding or bird-hunting show. Sammy and Mugs watch us, hoping for leftovers.

Another surge.  Tears come.

Bud’s legs and arms don’t work.  The tuna tradition continues but is modified.  I do my part and his, except place the saucers near the fireplace where Bud can watch from his recliner.  He chuckles even then.  I feed us both while we watch TV.

Memory fast-forwards.  No solid foods.  Only broth and tea.  Bud manages precious little.  Soon he manages nothing.

My chest hurts.  I blow my nose.  Oh how I miss him.

But it’s Sunday, and the tuna can is on the counter.  Sammy, thumping, and Mugs, weaving, are at my feet.  I reach for the can-opener and find myself chuckling …

Author Notes
Bud has been gone six months. I'm finding it helps to write my experiences, remembering, grieving, coping, being thankful, getting on with it, even laughing.

He was quite a guy. We had a very simple ... very good ... life.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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