The cold winter has finally released, and left, imparting us with the warmth of Spring. As I patter through my house barefoot for the first time in months, I remember my woolly socks. Only two days ago, I relied heavily on them to cuddle my toes. Where are they now? I haven’t a clue. How quickly I’ve forgotten what I cherished as comfort.
Life, like the seasons, is always turning. My cousin and I, now both “motherless” trying to organize a funeral, suddenly aware of how many details our mothers took care of that we are leaving undone – like arranging the family dinner, and ordering the flowers on-time. Cousins I remember playing with are now carrying in the casseroles that our own Mothers once made. Remember when our Mothers did all of this? Remember what we were like then?
My Aunt’s passing, of course, creates another season. My 4 boys and husband do not understand how she helped define me — how pivotal her role was in the underlying tapestry that creates me. So, as the memories come back, now and then, I will feed my boys the details of what she did that made me laugh, helped me, and how her presence transformed me.
As I stand at the cemetery during my Aunt’s Funeral, beside the grave where we buried my Mother two years ago, I find that I am able to stand. Alone. I could not do this, in this spot, two years ago. I am surprised by this. When did God grant me the calmness, the serenity, I feel today? When did it become an acceptable part of my life that my Mother is no longer alive? My youngest child cries because he said, “we promised him he would see his Grandma here.” We meant her picture — the one we put on her tombstone. I have the presence and the strength to calm him now.
My children are now forming memories of me as the way I am today. To them, I may look like someone with a quiet reservoir of reserved strength. Me, the wiser daughter my Mother never lived to see. Children, don’t look to close; tomorrow, I might fall apart. I can’t help but still see myself as the erratic, confused, emotional little girl that I have been most of my life. But, those seasons are stacked and put away. Parts of me I no longer need. Very much like my woolly socks.