Friday, July 04, 2008

Free on the Fourth

This is the first Fourth of July that I have been free of care for my mother, care for children, care for grandparents, care for anyone at all.

I treasure this day to set my own agenda, yet I am sad that I am not in Telluride. For me the only place to be on the Fourth is Telluride, watching the parade, going to the barbecue in the park, perhaps listening to the fireworks reverberate against the 13,000-foot peaks.

I don’t like the fireworks because they are symbols of bombs and grenades, IEDs. They are violence made pretty. Still, I want to be in Telluride and I miss her. This holiday is all about her and her home town, where I've been for nearly all the July 4s of my life. She made sure the family was there when she had young children.

In 2004 and earlier years, I took her to Telluride for the celebrations on July 4. Since 2005, I've dressed her up in red, white, and blue and taken her to lunch here, then to fireworks in the evening.

I’m sad that she doesn’t have this Fourth to Celebrate, but if she were still here, it would be a burden for me. My whole day would revolve around her.

Instead, this year I am free.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Depend on It

Today amidst various errands I pushed a grocery cart through the grocery store nearest to the assisted living residence where my mother lived, gathering $130 worth of various foods, cleaning supplies, cat litter, etc.

But when the Depends caught my eye at the end of aisle two, I suddenly felt tears at my eyes, the tension of a suppressed sob in my chest.

I realized that today's a Wednesday; it's been exactly twelve weeks since my mother died peacefully at 89 years of age.

So this is what it means to lose her, I realize: though I accept her death as necessary, a blessing to both of us, I miss her at odd moments like this.

I see the Depends and don't buy them, remembering how often I piled three packages into my grocery basket and rushed on to the wipes, the V-8 and other weekly purchases.

I realize that she is not two blocks away, waiting for me impatiently. She is gone. It's better that she's gone, but sadness remains.

Our lives come to an end, and the world carries on without us. She wanted to be near the center of my life, but now she is a memory, a sudden swell of feeling as I pass the incontinence products in the grocery store.