In June 2012, D's mother left her home in LA to live with us here. I had invited her. That was what D would have wanted.
All was good at first. My mother-in-law was elegant, eloquent, intelligent and caring - just spectacularly charming. What was truly comforting was that she didn't mind my 3 feline kids. I actually thought she loved them, until I saw her kick Ali at 3am one night, when she thought no one was watching.
Three months later in September 2012, my 14-year-old Keish stopped eating, and died three days later while hospitalized. I watched as she opened her eyes to take a last look at me. She had had her eyes close throughout when Dr Nathan was working on her, and I was happy to see her open her eyes to look for me. I had no idea she was breathing her last breath. I was confused by the sudden chaos in the surgery room and tried to ask what was going on. But everyone seemed busy and I didn't want to get in the way. When Dr Nathan asked me if she should try to bring Keish back, I answered "of course" without actually understanding her question. When I was finally able to comprehend what it was all about, Keish's lifeless body was already back in my arms. I rocked her for as long as they would let me. I remember telling D that I had to bring Keish home as I had promised her I would. I remember not wanting to leave without Keish, and Dr Nathan was kind enough to arrange for someone at the morgue to wait for me to bring Keish in really late that night. A huge part of me died when I wrapped Keish in the white towel that I figured they were going to burn her in.
Since Keish left, I have hardly stepped out, and stopped talking with anyone I know. I would not read anything, and almost lost all motivation to write. I was with Al, Ali and Cass a lot, and took lots of pictures of them. I smoked a lot, watched a lot of sad movies, ate a lot of almond roca, and made lots of ginger tea. And those were about all I did, and all I wanted to do. We bought a bigger place two months later in November because D's mother brought with her so much stuff they were cluttering my minimalist apartment. We were unable to settle down at our new place - renovation went on non-stop to cater to the needs of one single person - D's mother. I had D move her out five months later in April 2013 to allow myself total peace and solitude.
Six months later in October 2013, after hearing from D that his mother felt insecure about living a block away from us, I found us an even bigger place to move her back in with us. My only condition was that we maintained a separate living arrangement - she would take the entire level below ours, and we would have separate entrances. She agreed. Everything seemed fine initially - although D and I had to take care of all her meals (she wouldn't cook or go out to get her own food) and everything else she needed including cosmetics and entertainment, we no longer had to observe bizarre rituals resembling those practiced in the inner courts of the Forbidden City.
The good days lasted barely a month. By November, I was confining D and I and our cats to the studies, tip-toeing back to our bedroom only after 1am when I was sure my mother-in-law was fast asleep. By late January 2014, I had arranged for her belongings to be shipped to LA, got her a one-way ticket home, and hired a limo to send her to the airport.
She flew on February 15.
10 days later, Alberto died.
I felt like my life was over, until I found Albertina.
As a Christian, I do not believe in re-incarnation and past lives. That said, I have come to the conclusion that Albertina is Alberto coming home to us, exactly the way Keish did as Cass.
We plan to move back to the apartment where Keish last lived so the viewing and packing will start all over again.
Meanwhile, I am trying to get back to trading. Still in a 6A short and closing the position probably later today: