It’s been almost a month since I posted last, my mother’s 78th birthday is this coming Saturday, and I’ll bring cupcakes for a (hopefully) candlelit vigil that day at dusk.
Already moving through month 3 without her presence, and for the most part I try not to dwell in the sad places in my mind. I talk to her a lot. Eventually I’ll allow myself to think more, probably to cry more (it’s there, I just don’t want to get started because I’m never sure when I’ll stop), but for now I have the conversations with her that I didn’t have when she was here. As my friend Diane says, “there is presence even in absence.”
It’s October, the month when the veil between our worlds, Mom’s and mine, thins a little. That belief comforts me.
Since my mother’s death, every Friday eve around the time she died, I do a vigil. This past Friday, there was a light rainfall, our gardens were iridescent in the moonlight, and the fresh air and scent of the rain just felt so good…so I did it outside in my nightie, standing with my arms wide open and looking at the sky. Sometimes my tears get stuck so I let the rain fall on me to wash away some of my grief.
Perhaps you’ll have a chance to read this, no reply necessary. Just know that you are in my constant thoughts and however things turn out, I think of your kindness, Grace, love, dignity, courage and spirit…this is what I endeavor to share of the people who have been a part of my life, perhaps what most of us remember — the little things, the little glimpses and stories of a day in the life. Should we have grandchildren together, wherever you are I will make sure to include you so that they know their other grandmama well. We will set a place for you at our table always.
Much love for you .
P.S. You have raised some remarkable boys, and your tribe will gather to embrace and support them however we can.
Marty and I sit here in our house every day and express our thanks to each other (and to my father who helped make it happen), we love this little house so. As did Leona, her previous owner who dreamed of returning here for more than a decade, finally succumbing at the age of 96 to selling it to me. I’d written to Leona almost 15 years ago, back when I was still raising my kids and longing for a house that could be our home again — a place to grow roots, yet not become root bound. And here it is. At the epicenter of the transportation center of Cape Cod that is Hyannis, where planes buzz overhead, cars rumble in the distance, the trains screech into the station (along with the buses), and the ferry horn sounds for the last boat to the islands every evening. Bliss.
I am writing today and have all my notes scattered on my table. It’s hard work, but I’m lucky to have a virtual mentor in Camille DeAngelis, and a real world mentor in Diane Hanna.
Camille has some great video tutorials on her site about the writing process and these have helped me tremendously. Her teaching style is conversational, calm, grounded and practical. Simple tools to help me map out my story and process. I keep returning to what is the story I am trying to tell? What is my focus? Paying attention to those two questions brings me back when I feel overwhelmed with too much information. I began writing a survival guide a few years ago. It’s also developing into a field guide and in the end I believe it will ultimately again be a survival guide. To surviving changes, good and bad and learning to find the best amongst the changes.
When did it happen? As I left the rehab center the other day, I turned and waved to my mother from the walkway outside. She waved back to me from the window of her room. All I could think of is how it must have been for us when I was 5 years old, waving to her from the window of the bus on my way to kindergarten, as she waved back to me.
I tried posting a comment at Melissa’s blog but couldn’t — my sister Betsy called me yesterday with the news and my heart stopped — please anyone reading this send Melissa, her parents, Tony and Linda, and anyone else in their circle prayers, light, love and all the strength and beauty you can — they need it so badly after their recent loss. Thank you.