And it's all stuff.
Anything remotely valuable or marginally sentimental was distributed when she left the East Coast for Arizona. What she had left were trinkets. They made her smile, especially since someone else dusted them twice a week. Somehow, they've taken on new importance since her death.
A $10 small river rock painted with a blue bird's face was claimed by several relatives across the generations. The gorgeous glass paperweight was on everyone's list. I received emails and text messages and picture-grams with circles around the items that absolutely had to be sent so that G'ma could be remembered.
Apparently, the crewel work pictures are stretched on important frames; I am not to release them from their bonds. There are many reasons families should live close to one another. Having to ship 6' long framed stitchery is only one of them. It's not as if I can throw them out, of course. They are my mother's creations,and her grand-daughter wants them. I'm having fun imagining G'ma imagining her crewel work as hipster art in Brooklyn. She's pretty pleased, with that smile that truly reached her eyes. The one she saved for those she loved and those who loved her back.
Olga, activities therapist extra-ordinaire and true friend to G'ma, took two of the hooked rug pillows G'ma had created in better days. For her husband, she took the mini-ceramic cask of Irish Whiskey, a souvenir trinket from someone's trip to Ireland. At 3" tall, it will make a small but significant statement in the home of two emigres. My mother will be remembered.
This is how I'm getting through touching things that touched my mom.
Except for this giant hole in my heart, that is.
I've boxed up photo albums and ceramic bowls
and I'm sending them back to their people.
I'll take the pictures out of this ghastly frame
and send them back East to be scanned.
It's all we have now, so it has to be enough.
I'm trying really hard to make it be so.