I thought I’d find relief in my mother’s passing. After all, dementia is no picnic. And though there is some degree of that, there is also a deep down sadness and longing. I am mourning the mother of my childhood and memories of her are everywhere. I try not to think too hard or too long, but there is a kind of certainty about death that brings the frailty of life to the forefront where it cannot be denied.
Alongside the loss, there are questions I must answer. Ones about what I want for this season of my life.
I am finding great comfort in poetry these days, especially the wonderful book, poemcrazy, by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge.
Susan writes about the center of the house in Chapter 14.
It can be easier to write about the center of our houses than the center of ourselves, yet the process can take us to the same place.
In the center of the house, . . .
I see stacks of mail awaiting response, my favorite photo books with tangled gardens, my journal, the Sunday paintings that make the living room feel like a portrait gallery.
I hear the clothes on the line, flapping in the summer’s morning breeze.
I smell the fresh peaches ripening on the kitchen table, the sage at the window sill.
I taste the little cherry tomatoes, warmed by the sun. I eat one or two every time I pass the bowl and when I bite into them juice runs down my chin. I wipe my face with the back of my hand and I am a kid again.
I feel the rhythm of the day carry me along to the library, the market, the bank . . . everywhere but Memory Lane. No need to stop there now as Mom is gone. The to-do list feels strangely empty.