The past three plus months have been nothing short of difficult. There have been a million times where I would have loved to call my Mom and ask her the simplest but trivial sorts of questions and just to hear her answer, regardless of what it would have been, is something that I miss more than words can describe.
I have started on cleaning out small parts of the house that weren’t exceptionally emotional, but I dread the times that I will have to walk into a closet or her bedroom and begin sorting through her things. The items that truly said who she was. The shoes, scarves, crisp linen shirts, white button-down shirts with ruffles. These things were staples for my mother.
Friends of hers have offered to come over and help me begin to go through the big stuff, and it isn’t that I don’t want them here, because I absolutely need their help, but I truly don’t feel ready or prepared to take that next step. It feels so…final. In a way, I feel like I am slowly removing my mother from this house and from my life. Additionally, I know that as this house is nearing its “Showing Ready” stage, it will go on the market and will eventually be sold to a new family. A new family who will happily make memories in it for the next however many years.
Chris and I have absolutely agreed that we need to move on and venture into something new, which gets me excited about building a custom home for ourselves, but I will always be heartbroken to know that my family home, my first home and only home for the past 30 years, will soon have a sign declaring it for sale very soon.
There are still some things, which I refer to as Unfinished Business with my Mom, that need to be taken care of that I have decided to put on the back burner. One is that I need to order a new footstone for where my Mom is buried. She is in her family plot, but we need to get something definitive to state that she is there with them. Flowers must be planted, which I believe I may take care of this weekend, and the phone calls of people calling her to see how she is also need to end. Telling people over and over that she has passed away has become second nature to me, even to the point where I can now say, “She died.” The D-Word. The most insensitive and difficult word to say following the passing of a loved one.
Sure, many people will say that someone has “passed away” or “has gone to be with God” or something similar. Never the D-Word.
Even when I feel like falling apart into a sobbing mess on the floor, I get the sense that she is with me and I will hear the wind chimes on the back porch begin clanging as if to say “It’s okay my baby. I am still here.” I know you are here Mom in every sense of the word, but I just wish that you were sitting next to me on the couch so I can hold your hand and we can watch HGTV or Law & Order and laugh about something that Jack did today.
I know that she is proud of me for all that I am doing and for everything that I will do, but hearing her tell me how she feels is something that I long to hear.
Jack still asks for her and where she is, which gives me comfort that he hasn’t just forgotten about her. One thing on my Maternity Leave To Do List would be to create a photo book of just photos of Jack and my Mom throughout his life. This way, he can look through it and always remember all of the wonderful times that he had with her.
And one last thing got me on a major crying jag today on lunch. Mother’s Day. Going to Hallmark to choose a card for my Mother in Law and not my Mom had me in tears. My emotions got the best of me and had me thinking about what it feels like to not have parents. I know that I still have my husband, Jack, the new baby and my sisters, but I am essentially an orphan. The phone never rings anymore in the house of people checking in, the cards and e-mails have stopped and the feeling of being alone has never been more apparent. To me, it just makes it more noticeable that she isn’t physically here anymore.
Time is a great healer and I know that although time will never completely heal me, it will make things easier as we try to move on.