“I’ll write to you. A super-long letter, like in an old-fashioned novel”Haruki Murakami, After Dark
Well, as 2020 rolled in everything began to go sideways. Before COVID had really hit the news, it was still in the “way over there” stage. Still, by January my little world was changing, as I found out that my location was closing, and I was going to not have a job come the end of February.
Now, what that meant was that I was only going to have my dental plan until the beginning of April, so if I was going to get my horrible no-good awful teeth once and for all replaced with dentures… that had to happen as quickly as possible.
Yeah, so, that’s not what happened.
Anywho, that is not how it started. I began writing to mom when I found out I would have to get on the teeth thing. I was scared, it had given me anxiety for years, worrying about this. I had planned it for this year, the stars had aligned, I thought. I would have 5 extra paid sick days, I had extra money in my benefits account I could use that had rolled over… it seemed like a home run. It would still cost me out of pocket, but it could work.
But, that’s not what happened.
Yet, still, mom had gone through all this in the years before she died. She had all her teeth out, and she had dentures.
Oh, and that’s the thing, she died on Halloween Eve, 2001, the first full moon on Halloween in 47 years. Her death from cancer, in a relative sense, was quick, if not painless. With a stroke on September 19th of that year, and soon afterwards they told us the words that no one wants to hear… she had stage 4 cancer, it had metastasized to her brain, and she didn’t have long to live.
Still, all these years later, it just seemed right to me. Letters to her somehow was very soothing.
My sister and I have kept her memory alive, in small ways. Mom’s first grandchild was born on her birthday that year she died, and I guess the reality of life, of birth and death, and the cycle of it all, her spirit and her compassion, her unconditional love, these were values my sister wanted to make sure her girls… well, make sure they valued those things.
Maybe there is a mythology to how we memorialize her, but the motivations for that are making sure her tales are told, and that she is remembered.
Now, yes, things have changed and in the course of these letters I guess my focus has definitely changed.
I don’t write every day, I write as the mood takes me, but on average about once sometimes twice per week, more or less.
Anywho, these letters are about my life, my thoughts, my dog, my garden, my griefs, my losses, and all the things, you know, that you would want to tell your mom.
Thank you for dropping by my Temenos.