Sunday, July 24, 2005

A Mother's Passing--Coming Home

(The previous post is here.) We returned to a clean home. The trip itself was uneventful. We left my father’s house (no longer my parents’ house...) and headed for Peoria. It was a calmer trip than the one that we had made the week before. Crystal and I talked. We laughed at times. And I did not feel guilty for smiling. But when we finally arrived at home, we were so tired. And so it was a blessing to find that, in our absence, our friends had cleaned our house. There was food in the refrigerator, purchased by my co-workers. There was a promise of meals, from our church. Home was...well, it was home. It was good to be back. The week was busy. Work threw me a special birthday lunch, while Crystal scrambled to put on the elaborate party that she had been planning, back when the world was normal. I think that, in the final count, we celebrated my birthday four times. Seems about right to me. And, of course, work was waiting for me. The major program rewrite that I am helming was still awaiting me. There were meetings to be attended, plans to be laid, notes to be taken. I was drawn back into my normal routine. Slowly life returned to normal. And yet.... On my cubicle wall, surrounded by the quotes and comic strips and Japanese prints, I have cleared a little section. And there I have posted Mom’s obituary and two pictures. Sitting above them on the top of the cubicle wall is Linda, the pink flamingo. The first picture is of Mom and I when I was five or so. We are sledding, and someone snapped a picture of us coming down the hill together. Mom is laughing. Her eyes are dancing as we slide down the hill. The second is of Mom, taken only a week or two before she died, standing in her garden and smiling quietly. She looks so peaceful, so serene. So content. There was no occasion for the picture, but everyone in the family now has a copy. This is Mom the way that we remember her, the way that she was before she was suddenly taken from us. And when I look at those pictures, I can forget, for a moment, the coldness of her brow as she lay in the coffin. And for a moment, I can smile as I remember her. Before the pain threatens to overwhelm, sometimes I can remember that she is smiling now forever, and that her pain is gone. But I am left behind, and the grief is sometimes too much to bear. (The next post is here.)


Blogger Raquel said...

I'm sitting at the computer crying. Again. Thank you for posting these. I'm glad I got to read them.

7/24/2005 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger james3v1 said...

You know, I think it is more sad remembering after two years than it was when it was happening.

I've read these before, but I am glad that you posted them here to read again.

7/24/2005 03:13:00 PM  

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