My mother died five years ago today.
It's funny how grief can sneak up on you. On Christmas, at the end of midnight mass, when we were dismissed to 'go in peace' and the organ blared the first strains of some triumphant postlude, I realized that I had not shed a single tear. This would be the first midnight mass since my mother's death that I did not dissolve into tears at the first verse of 'Silent Night'. I wondered if that meant something; have I come to terms with something? I pondered. Am I healing? Am I healed?
What a crock. Yesterday evening something, and I can't even remember what, sent me reeling. My eyes welled, and I was absolutely stricken with grief and pain and longing and it was like it was new again, like it had just happened. I cried a bit, although not much, because I'm very unattractive when I cry and didn't want to subject my co-workers to my blotchy face and snotty nose.
In the car on the way home, free to sob unattractively to my heart's content, I was thinking about my mother. About how she had so many notebooks and pens when she died, but they were mostly empty, with the exception of the occasional to-do list or a the beginnings of a short note to a friend. I remember going through those notebooks, page by page, wishing and hoping against all hope that I would find something, anything. A short essay, a declaration, a diatribe, anything that reflected her and who she was and what she stood for and what she wanted, for herself and her children, what she thought about God and religion and world peace and politics, her thoughts on global warming. Her thoughts on parenting. Her memories of our childhoods, at least those that weren't destroyed by the shock therapy. Her thoughts on heaven and hell and everything in between.
There's really nothing on this blog that I would object to Jacelyn reading. Maybe, one day after I'm gone, she can somehow read what I've written here (if it's still around in some form) and think, "wow, my mom was crazy, she was overly wordy, she used punctuation VERY poorly, but she really, really, really loved me". And so I write.
And my sisters write, too. And I love them, and hope they keep writing, because they are good at it. And Mike, my brotha from anotha motha, the same goes to you, you talented, witty bastard, you. And to everyone that blogs, and loves: keep on.
Happy New Year.