After many months, there’s some daylight
To everyone who reached out after my mom had her stroke in June, I am forever grateful. When I showed each card or gift to her, she perked up and seemed to enjoy each one. I believe it made a difference in her days when she was conscious. Every kindness certainly made a difference to mine.
She passed in Hospice Care the morning of July 20th with family by her side. I’ve been untethered and rough around the edges, or I would have posted sooner.
The night of the 20th, I sat on my front porch and watched the sunset over the river. The colorful solar lights in our yard powered on in the darkness. Mom had gifted them to me earlier this year and when I installed them, I texted her photos. We spoke on the phone and she particularly liked the green (one of her favorite colors) spotlight. It was a nice memory.
Hours later, I went to bed but couldn’t find sleep. I wandered back outside and stared at the maple tree bathed in the green glow and thought about how much Mom loved color and lights. Right in that moment, the light blinked out. I glanced around the yard. All the others were still on.
Was it a message from Mom? After a person passes away, do they get opportunities to communicate just one more time?
I don’t know about that, but I know, for whatever reason, the light went dark; the timing was perfect. It felt like a hug.
There have been other little instances that felt like gifts. When we left the church after the service on July 29th, there was a torrential downpour which stayed with us until we arrived at the Coal River. The rain stopped the second we opened our car doors and stayed away until the minute we left.
During the drive, my daughter’s phone lost service and when it returned, there was a new voice mail. It was from my mom singing happy birthday to my daughter. From June 11th. The voice mail had hung in cyberspace for nearly seven weeks, unheard. As we stood together, arms around one another, we listened to Mom sing as we scattered her ashes in the river and said goodbye.
There have been other moments, ones I’m sure have rational explanations, but seeing “signs” has helped ease my pain, whether they’re real or imagined.
Friends and family have provided the tangible balm; A meal made and delivered. The blanket, wreaths, flowers, and cards. The place to stay near the hospital. The random phone calls and prayers and texts and messages online. They all peppered the lonely stretches of grief and uncertainty and made them more bearable.
How is it possible to ever fully say thank you to everyone?
What I have not been doing the past four months:
Editing my manuscript. Painting. Writing. Reading. Blogging. Caring about much of anything.
The only thing I *have* done with any consistency is visit estate sales every week. It’s something I’ve enjoyed for years and it’s an easy diversion. Things others keep and the stories they tell about the person and their life have always fascinated me. What they loved, what they feared, what they desired.
A friend of mine also lost her mother earlier this summer and has been cleaning out her house. She has taken the overflow of unwanted antiques and vintage goods and set-up a vendor booth at a local antique mall and recommended the project to me.
This is the first time in months I’ve felt any kind of spark. I think it’s what I need. An activity that lights me up. For now.
This is my winter project, and what I’ll be writing about over the next few months. I’ll share the journey with anyone who’s interested in tagging along.
Until next time, hug the ones you love. With eternal gratitude, Bex xoxo