My Mother’s Letters

jen groeber: mama art

I remember we had at least one television on all day and night for Butchie and he would scream in his stinking chair in the corner while cartoons blared. I remember we ate food that came from the freezer unless it came from a can or was spaghetti. I remember the stress and the yelling before any holiday gathering as we vacuumed and scrubbed and hid things away for company. It always felt like company was a bad thing. At least that’s how I remember it.

I remember because these things formed me.

The stories I told in Butchie’s eulogy included the time he choked on a hotdog at the kitchen table and it didn’t pop out of his mouth until my mother threw him down onto the table, yelling, “Breathe, Goddammit!” At the rest of us, “Keep eating!”

The day he pulled his G-tube out of his abdomen, covering the…

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