Eight years ago today, just before dawn, my mother passed away. With one last soft breath, let out in a quiet sigh, she left us. And each March 27th I’m a little quieter, I walk a little slower. I’m just a little sad. Because I’m remembering. My sister calls every year to remind me about “the day” – as if I needed reminding. Sis leaves a quiet voicemail, suggesting maybe we should go put flowers down at the cemetery. But we never do. We talk about it, but never do.
All eight years I’ve grieved. And I think I’ve finally come to a place of peace. A small, fragile-as-a-bird’s-wing place of peace but nonetheless it’s there. Where before this day would immobilize me, now I just retreat to a place of quiet reflection. I’ve tried to come to terms with my grief in various ways with varying amounts of success. I loved my Momma and have tried to comfort myself by telling myself that whenever I do things she loved, she lives. Her spirit arises from wherever it lays, or floats down from whatever cloud it has alighted on, and joins mine for time. Every time I knead bread dough, or run, or sing at the top of my lungs in the car, or dance, or shop for shoes, or sip a margarita, or eat salsa and chips, or decorate a Christmas tree, or measure out ingredients for cookies, scraping the knife across the measuring cup full of flour so its level – she lives. She’s with me again. On days like today, that’s what I hold onto.