The week before Mother’s Day, I wrote a few words on Facebook and posted several pictures of my mom.  I planned to write an appropriate blog post on that Sunday, to share some special things about her.  I wanted to wrap up this segment of life and move on.

I couldn’t do it.

And that’s a good thing.  It made me realize I’ve got to stop trying to wrap up parts of my life in pretty packages, making sure all the loose ends are tucked in.  It reminded me that honoring a person or grieving their loss is not a linear process.  I should know that by now.

She was good and disappointing, loving and judgmental, creative and destructive, complicated and simple… just like me.  Her influence and memory will always be with me.  And they will show up here from time to time.

Doug and I’ve spent this passed decade (which catches my breath to say) caring for our parents.  With every health issue that cropped up for Doug and every birthday that passed, our own time line has been diminishing.  We’ve been holding tight to a whole lot of dreams and plans.

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I find it ironic that mom died just as this pandemic was ramping up.  Because here I sit, three months later, not only with memories but with all her things.  I have no choice but to wait.

And I think I’m glad about that.

I’m glad I couldn’t shoot out of here like a freight train… because that’s what I am inclined to do.  And that hasn’t served me well in the past.

I’m glad for time to rest, to read, to write.

I’m glad for a patient God who shows me the way when I slow down enough to pay attention.

Proper planning is problematic in a pandemic… but Doug and I are doing it anyway! One day soon we will make some big changes.  We’ll be ready.

I’ve also had weird dreams…….. I walked into a room where video cameras were rolling and my mother was entertaining Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.  Her choice of company was disconcerting to say the least. She told me to prepare a plate of snacks for her guests.  I said, in my most disgusted voice, “I suppose you want me to prepare a charcuterie (word I’ve never used in my life!) tray for your friends”.  She looked at me as if to say “what on earth is wrong with you”?  Chuck and Nancy looked scared (as they should).

I went next door to a kitchen where I hacked up a package of bologna (which I hate) and a brick of mild cheddar (also hate) and mashed it into a messy pile on a plate.  I took it to them.  Chuck and Nancy ran away (as they should) and Mom still looked at me as if to say, “what on earth is wrong with you”.

So what does it mean?  Are Chuck and Nancy afraid of bologna and cheese?  Or of me?  Is Mom telling me she’s as confused by me as I’ve always been of her, or to just go fix myself a proper plate of food?  Or am I supposed to boost my vocabulary with fancy words like “charcuterie”.  I don’t know.

Yesterday I had what Mom called a “chunk lunch”, a chunk of this and a chunk of that.  The cheddar is extra sharp (as it should be).

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2 thoughts on “waiting

  1. Sarge

    Very profound. Very sad and very encouraging. Makes me want to explore the many conflicts and bursts of joy with my own mother in an essay of some kind, but I know I never will. Bless you, Brooke. You always make me think.


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