08 April 2007

Run, you said. And we ran.

I was five, and we ran together through the rain. And then I was safe and warm, and she took me, my teacher, from you, with care, though not the love you always gave to me. And you must have run back through the rain, though faster, because your legs were longer.

And then I was six. Grandma's dead, you said. And I didn't believe you. You're lying! I said. Grandma's not dead. But you would never lie to me. And as you walked away in tears, I wondered if it was true. I believe you know.

When I was seven, I told you seven was my favorite number. You laughed. And when I fell off my bike in front of the neighbors’ house, where the sidewalk turns to brick, I waited until I got home, to you, to cry. We went camping, and you smiled the whole time, although now I think you were mostly annoyed that we all smelled kind of like dirt, and fish, and the musty canvas of the old tent we used year after year. I couldn't have been happier. And when I fell into the beaver pond, maybe two years later, and dad said, I guess we're not going to catch any fish here today, you laughed again, and gave me Oreos as I tried to pretend I wasn't embarrassed while I dried off. I felt better.

You left Shannon to babysit me when I was eight. You expected her to feed me the requisite Wednesday night meat loaf while you went to play bridge, but instead she let me scrape it into the sink, because meat loaf's kind of gross, and I waited while she made cream puffs. They were good.

I remember on my tenth birthday, you cried because your last child, your youngest daughter, had turned double digits. I still wish I was nine so I could take away those tears. I'm sorry I had to grow up.

When I was fourteen, we walked though the mall, locking pinkies, while I wondered if I was too old. I wasn't. It felt good. I'd do it still, if you were here.

I was fifteen when I decided that I was oppressed, and I told you I hated you. If I could take it back I would. I think you knew I was a stupid teenager, and thank you for not giving up on me.

Who are we? I asked. You saw my first seizure when I was sixteen, and you helped me understand it. Now, I understand that things could be worse. You understood too. Later that year, you told me you had breast cancer. I cried immediately, and that made you cry. You said you hadn't even cried yet. I hate that you ever had to cry because of it. I hate breast cancer. I might put one of those cheesy pink ribbons on my car for you.

You supported me when I married the wrong man. Thank you for letting me. I sometimes wish you hadn't, but through him I met a good one. He loves me. You loved him too. You were right.

I moved to Boston. You're embarking on a great adventure, you said. And you were more right than you knew, or more right than you said. The adventure is living, and loving those moments you're given, and not planning and waiting for that better time, that better situation, that better love. It was here all the time, and you knew it, but couldn't tell us. Because we all have to learn it for ourselves. You knew it sooner than others, or maybe, you just knew it better. You yourself saw that your friends felt something from you, something that was special, that doesn't come along so often.

The universe is unfolding as it should, you said, over and over. I want to believe you. I quoted you at your funeral. I still hope you're right. God, you've been right so many times. Mom, I miss you.


Blogger Altered Egoist said...

I am not afraid to comment here...

Once again your beautiful eloquence has welled up that watery thingy that happens with my eyes sometimes.

I miss Gwen. It's so hard to be here thinking she's gonna poke her head into the kitchen at any moment and demand that I add more salt to whatever I'm cooking. Or picking at a dish before it's served.

Believe it or not I miss you too! Your energy, your humor, your kindness and friendship. I miss the happy you. These have been trying times for all of us and emotional outbursts should not be misconstrued for lack of care.

Do I miss your dogs...? Not so much.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Ha ha. Bzzz. Goodbye.