One month ago today, March 5th at 9:10 a.m., my life forever changed as a part of me departed this world. It changed me. How could it not?
Despite knowing my mother's health was declining, despite watching her struggle to breathe, despite sitting with her in hospice, clutching her hand in mine, it was a shock. A numbing shock. I still cannot believe she is gone.
My mother is dead, my mother is dead, my mother is dead. I never verbalized these words, but they rolled around inside my head making a horrible racket like marbles in a bucket, making me want to scream.
I am more contemplative, more serious, more quiet, more tired. Exhausted. Even now, writing these words, a wave of nausea flows through me.
She hadn't yet passed the first time I thought of calling her. We took Little Bee swimming and she swam for two and a half hours. Natalie and I were walking down the hall, hand in hand, when I thought I need to call Mother and tell her about Natalie swimming. Then it occurred to me- I will never call her again. I have thought about calling her to tell her what is going on several times since. We've had torrential rains this past week and flooding. Mother always watched the weather here and would call me to make sure I was o.k.
Last night a friend came from out of town and was my overnight guest. We ate out last night, we came home, changed into comfy clothes, I made a fire and we talked.
This morning, hair disheveled and eyeliner smudged, we sat, wearing pajamas, drinking coffee and talking. I laughed. I yelled. I carried on.
We talked and talked and talked. She listened as I went back to the subject repeatedly - "mother this, mother that, since we've lost mother..."
We ate good food-delicious food and consumed some excellent beers.
Today, we drove from Bloomington to Nashville, Indiana and walked a bit. Then we drove the back roads and hills and through mud, with the windows down and sunroof open. We were silent. We breathed in the smells of spring, of earth bursting forth with fronds and green and sprouting and growth. We got a little lost and found our way again.
And I felt more like me than I have in months.
Today was a day. It was a good day.