The house is so quiet now. The kids are back into the full swing of school, and that means a little more (well, a lot more) quiet time for me. I used to love this time so much, cherishing turning off the television and going about my normal routine in quietness. But here lately, I seem to resent the lack of noise more than I knew I could, hating the void it leaves me. It was in these moments that I would talk to you, and I am missing that more than ever right now.
Fall is just around the bend. The leaves on the tree by my driveway are beginning to fall. I don't know what kind of tree it is. I just know that it's the first to bloom in the spring and first to drop its small leaves all over the grass in September. Pretty soon, the colors will begin to break forth in the trees changing the scenery dramatically. I planted a few mums in pots on Sunday, one of which was a pot I brought from your house. At first, I thought I would dump all the soil out of it and start fresh, not knowing how long it had been in the pot or what had been planted in it before. But as I started to do so, I realized that you had put it there, and so I stopped, decided to save the rest, and just added some fresh soil to the top and planted a beautiful lavender colored mum.
I also did a little work in the yard, pulling up a few lantana plants I planted years ago. I love lantana, but these just weren't in the right spot, and they had become such a nuisance. I set out just to trim them back, but then I found myself with a shovel in my hands rooting them out all together. I thought about you the whole time, knowing how much alike we are when it comes to times like this. I had no idea what I was doing, nor did I really have the physical strength to pull those matured plants out of the ground, but I figured it out and got it done with no assistance from anyone. Just as you would have done. I love the way I got that from you, the where with all to figure things out on my own and do things for myself. Some may call it stubbornness, but I call it independence.
I've been working on a lot of things inside the house. You would love the changes I have made. Adding in new bright colors. Blue has become my favorite color since you died. I don't know why. Maybe it's the beautiful indigo colored bird that kept appearing on my back deck the last week of your life. Maybe it's just the soothing quality of the peaceful color. Maybe it's that blue is the color of the sky I stare into wondering if you are somewhere just beyond that puffy cloud. I don't know. Blue it is, though, in any shade. It's my favorite.
Seems you pepper my dreams here lately. To some, that may sound wonderful, but it's exhausting. My nights have become completely exhausting. There's nothing much I can do about it, so I just carry on. That I got from you, too... the ability to carry on. But sometimes, carrying on becomes exhausting just like the nights of endless dreaming I experience. And that's when I wish I had someone who could carry me through a bit. You used to do that, just in a conversation or words of wisdom. It seemed so simple then, and so ordinary. But now I realize how immensely unique it was, and that I will never have that again. Perhaps that is why the grief seems so hard to bear right now, that I am fully realizing that indeed you are gone and I no longer have a mother. Not having you around makes every single task seem more difficult than it really is simply because I can't talk it over with you. And that sounds so silly to me even as I write it out like this, but it is true.
I am tired, Mama. Tired of missing you, of hurting, of quietly mourning you as the rest of the world spins on and on seemingly without a glitch. Tired of crying alone. Tired of crying all together. Tired of this world without your presence. It's all so different yet becoming so normal at the same time. And though I would never bring you back to this fallen world, I can't help but wish I had another day with you. It's so crazy, but I do.
I wonder what you're doing. Am I already there with you, like some kind of parallel spiritual existence? Or are you aware of what is going on here? When I think about it too much, my head begins to spin. Whatever it is like there, I know you are well and not suffering. No more chemo or procedures. No more cancer. No more tears. And that is enough for me. That's what keeps me sane. Or close to sanity, at least.
I love you, Mama. And miss you more than I ever dreamed possible.