I’ve been craving your presence lately, Sam. Wanting to tell you things. Nothing of significance, just things. Wanting your advice. Wanting to plan a trip or watch you 'Sam dance' and laugh. Cozy up on the couch, make dinner.
I still find pieces of you all over my life and I’m so scared that’ll someday stop. Your handwriting on things, your clothes or gear hanging in the closet. Your number and picture at the top of my ‘favorite contacts’ list on my phone. I talk to your family and friends about you. Oddly, I wonder how Birkie grieves for you.
On a whim, I went searching for you tonight, finally going through your wallet after all this time. I took out each item, savoring that they were yours and important enough that you carried them around with you every day.
Your five insurance cards. (Who has five?!) We were so lucky to have these things.
A hundred dollar bill, likely Christmas charity money from your Dad to have on hand to give to someone who couldn’t pay for their grocery bill or needing a cab.
Fat Ptarmigan gift card - probably go to have lunch and bullshit with Schryver or Snyder.
Michigan fishing licenses for trips to Lake Superior trying to finally catch a steelhead.
Wisconsin hunting license for the annual comedy trip (I mean, “deer hunting” trip) with Pete.
Wisconsin Union, Costco, REI memberships. Each of which you had comically striking affinities for.
Reporter business cards for pitching a good story.
A two dollar bill from Grandpa Dewey.
Passport card, bank account numbers, Social security card. I’m pretty sure none of which you’re supposed to keep in your wallet.
An expired Wisconsin drivers’ license that you kept just to show everyone the hilarious shadow mullet. (I tucked your current license in my wallet a few days after you died.)
A picture of us that you always loved more than I did.
A torn fortune from a cookie, “You will soon gain something you have always wanted.”
It's another collection of your things that I am now tasked with figuring out how much meaning to assign each of them. You’re not here in the contents of your wallet, but you’re closer.
I cried that I couldn’t remember how to put everything back the way you had it - so silly.
But I know future Jenny is going to want to do this over again. To feel close to you. To hold something as mundane as your wallet, put together the way you had it, and laugh at your shadow mullet.
I guess this is what grieving two and a half years out looks like, I thought as I tucked your wallet back in the drawer I found it.