I’m back home in Milwaukee where my cat walks across the keyboard when I type and then settles into my lap so that I have to balance my iPad on one knee. Her name is Rose. She cries to go out one minute and cries to come in the next. She’s a talker and a walker–she walks along when we walk our dog Sam.
I miss the big deck at the cabin under the wide span of sky so I’m getting the flowers planted that have been sitting on our back deck taking up space and patiently waiting for me to settle their crowded roots into the soil. I miss the tall golden carpet of sea grass which hides wildflowers and assorted insects, but I like our little patio. I miss the gull calls and crane whoops, but listen to the assorted chirps and warbles coming from overhead and all around me. I miss the big windows that extend across the front of the cabin facing the water exposing the light, so I’ve lifted the protective shades and opened the filmy curtains in the room where my desk sits.
The wind blows through the trees here too. It creates moving shadows across the pavement instead of the grass and sand, but it still forces me to look into my own shadows and wonder. I wonder today how it is that we lose our mothers gracefully. Lose anyone gracefully. Loss runs deep like love runs deep. Both words start with an L and both words have four letters, insinuating that there’s some similarity between the two. Both can be covered up for a while but inevitably need the exposure of light and air, if not the wind, to come into their fullness.
My relationship with my own mother was deep and complex so it makes sense that time would need to pass after her death to begin to really unveil the depth of what we experienced together. Mother and daughter. Confidants and friends. Soul mates of sorts. It was a gift to have her as my mom on this earth but she wasn’t mine to keep.
I bought a copy of the book Mothers and Daughters by Maggie Scarf when I was in my twenties as a means to better understand what it was that went on between us. I never read it. I meant to, I just never got around to it. Maybe I didn’t need to read that book to understand Mom and me.
Mom was the one person in my life, who in one word on the phone, could read my mood.
“Debs, you’re tired.”
“What is it Debbie, you sound stressed.”
“Deborah Ann? What are you hiding?”
My hurt, Mom. Why did you have to suffer like you did? Why did God let you suffer so much pain? The one thing that helps give me peace now is that you don’t hurt anymore. No more grief. I don’t know which was worse for you–the pain in your bones from the cancer or the pain in your heart from the loss of your first born.
I think I might have to have to change the title of this blog to Sundays with Dad and Musings with Mom. Or not. It’s all entwined together–our lives, our losses our love.