Today is August 28, 2012. Exactly thirty days have passed along with my mother. The last of the thank you notes beg for stamps on the dining room table. Four green garbage bags revealing nothing, but containing the cozy clothes mom wore everyday sit quietly by the front door. On her bed, thirty special items such as nighties, the embroidered cloth from her straw hat, and brightly colored favorite shirts destined to be made into a memory quilt over the winter by an extraordinary woman in upstate New York, await packing and shipping.
There is not one space in the house that does not speak volumes about the absence of both mom and Molly. Even in the garage, Molly’s severe weather coat, kennel, and Mom’s many assistive devices of all description huddle together anticipating their fate.
It is more than avoidance of a to-do list. It has nothing to do with attachment to things, laziness, or a lack of time.
Before the physical evidence of 91 plus 16 years is cast to the four directions, a pause for reflection is required.
While this may be my new normal – and with it comes a sense of wonder about what lies ahead, it is far from easy. I recognize progress has been made, in paperwork and phone calls, and periods of deeper sleep. I have ventured away from home, shared meals with friends, and visited my nieces. Every event has been accompanied by a sense of something not quite right. In the living-room three days ago, I experienced the most recent case of vertigo. (or as my widowed friend describes it – the pit) As my hand reached behind the chair to draw the blinds, there was a sensation of sinking accompanied by – “Oh **** (insert expletive of your choice), my mom died.” As some of you know, it was like I was realizing this for the very first time.
I am so incredibly blessed in all ways. People who love me are being generous and kind. Support reaches out to comfort me from all over the globe. Adventures are planned and work projects evolving. This is something far bigger and more mysterious than I could ever have anticipated. As our beloved Chief Caring Hands, of the Natick Praying Indians, summed it up so beautifully “you are still standing on holy ground in the shadow of your mother’s death”. Although I am slowly re-entering the world this is exactly how it feels. The house of this life as I have known it may no longer exist, yet many treasures contained in the ashes, are waiting to be claimed.
I am sitting on the porch, aware of the worn cushion of the chair beneath me. The rain outside runs steadily down the storm pipe. Many drops comfortingly beat unusual rhythms on leaves and earth. There is moist damp air on my skin, and it smells divine. It is a new day filled with new opportunities.