Next, next Tuesday, the 15th, it will have been 2 years since Mom died. Typing that makes me sad and a little teary, but the feelings aren’t overwhelming, which they were last year. Around this time last year, I think I was crying into my pillow pretty regularly, because grief is a weird thing.
This year though, everything feels more settled, the house is sold, the estate is settled, and the bad memories are fading. Mom and I spent such a long time in role reversals that a great deal of anger and resentment had built up, not even necessarily over her death, but in her last few years, making it hard to remember the good times. And while her last few years weren’t ideal, it doesn’t make me angry anymore; it just makes me sad, which is ok. BUT now I can remember going to a cousin’s wedding and being the first out on the dance floor with Mom because they were playing a polka, going dress shopping for my senior prom and finding the perfect dress on clearance because of a broken strap, the hand-made white chocolate candies, her obsession (not with flamingos, though there’s that too) but with holiday trees. My hand to god, she had a tree for every season; for the most part they were 3 foot tall dead branches that she would then string with seasonal lights and whatever decorations she could find. Heh, she even used to love putting holiday themed answering messages on the machine.
Looking back, Mom was super involved at school, at one point becoming my grade school librarian. At the time it was annoying (as kids are wont to think), but hindsight, it was nice having her so close. I used to get dibs on all the best books and she always brought the coolest things to class parties. She even went on most of the field trips with me, to local places, but also DC, which I remember because she was oddly cool with letting me hang out with my friends and do my thing.
The best part is that those memories is that they are finally fitting the picture of the beautiful, smiling woman sitting on my desk.