Is Kate your wife?
The woman from Ontario Parks was, of course, apologetic. We moved on. Kate was obviously in their database, her name against my phone number and address.
It was actually kind of funny, but then later it didn’t seem so.
“I guess Kate knows we’re here,” I said to the friends we’d gone camping with. She and I took the kids camping in 2010, one of the last things we did that summer, only weeks before her cancer diagnosis. We never went camping again. I wanted to get back at it. It was good. It was freezing. But the kids kept talking about things we did on those earlier camping adventures with Mummy. Those things stick in the mind.
Naomi said she remembered telling Mummy she’d touched poison ivy, but she hadn’t. (!) This is a very late confession. I remember Kate huffing and mad, saying to Naomi, “Why did you do that? I told you not to do that!” Ha, ha. Guess what, Kate? She didn’t. (Naomi was 6 at the time and is now 9.)
Sitting around the camp fire Naomi also imitated Kate by snorting. Yes, she was the woman who laughed so hard she snorted. Now that was funny.
Meanwhile this past week was week two at school. Owen had to write some personal stuff, back-to-school type stuff. What are you favorite books? Favorite movie? How would you like to die? (Yes, that last one is odd, but … check this out.) On that last question, Owen went poetic. He said he wanted to be eaten by wolves, but only after they had chased him to the point where they were as exhausted as he was. Well, that’s what happened to Kate, I thought. She outran those motherfuckers until they were damn exhausted.
Kate is my wife and my mentor. And the model the kids follow intuitively.
[Photo, camping, Sandbanks, 2008]