Thursday, November 13, 2014

Saturday will mark 46 months since I intersected with bullets.  As anniversaries draw near, I fight an on-going battle with the dark side.  48 months ago Christina-Taylor and her family joined G'ma and my family around our dining room table for Thanksgiving dinner.  As I begin to gather my cold weather gear for this year's trek to Little Cuter and the Polar Vortex, my heart goes back to that Thursday afternoon when CTG was 9, and full of promise. 

She and G'ma discussed the utility of various silver serving pieces. Plate and sterling.... G'ma describing the differences and CTG listening and absorbing and then choosing the fanciest ones for the mashed potatoes and the string bean casserole and the kugel and the stuffing.  G'ma, perched on the seat of her walker, wondering who that beautiful little girl might be, wondering why she was asking so many questions, wondering what we were celebrating. 

I miss those girls.

Little Cuter and I were discussing her holiday dinner menu this week.  Sitting at my kitchen table, answering her questions - Does her father like green beans? Will her brother eat cooked spinach?  Why don't any of us like brussel sprouts? - my mind wandered back to that last Thanksgiving when we meant my mother and my friends gathered together.  The passage of time has robbed me of their presence.  I want them back.

I know. I know.  I can't always get what I want.  And I really don't want my mom back, at least not as she was when she left.  That hollow shell of the woman she once was haunts me less and less and the months go by.  The emptying out of her physical being mirrored what had been going on in her brain for a decade or more, and the physical manifestations of her deterioration were difficult to watch.  They bothered me more than they bothered her; she was slow and she knew it and so we'd just have to walk slower.  She didn't complain; she accepted and moved on.

I'm trying that right now.  I'm trying to accept the fact that CTG will never be more than 9.  I've been watching her grow up in my imagination, wondering what cell phone ringtone she'd choose for me on the device she'd been promised for Christmas, speculating on the email address she'd choose, laughing out loud as I consider how big her feet would be by now. 

I don't need a butterfly necklace or a purple rubber bracelet to keep her close; she's with me every single day.... and yet she's gone, every single day. It's the same with G'ma.  I drive past the pod-castle and have to restrain myself from turning into the parking lot.  I finish my chores and I look at the clock - will G'ma be free to join me for an ice cream cone?  I got used to her presence, I relied on her presence, and now she is gone.  The emptiness has burned a hole in my heart.

Her time on the planet was over last December.  She'd overstayed her welcome.  There weren't any plans left unfulfilled.  It was okay... though unimaginably sad... watching her fade away a year ago right now.  We didn't bother to bring her over for Thanksgiving dinner; she couldn't have eaten any of it, nor could she have sat upright at the table for more than a moment or two, and those clacking dentures would have made a disturbing background to the conversation.  It was the right decision, we all agreed.... and yet I'm sitting here in Starbucks, drinking my ice tea, using their internet connection,  wishing that I had that memory to add to my collection. 

There are many many many good memories.  I'm trying to get used to the fact that I won't be making any more of them.  47 months .... 11 months.... it's a blink of an eyelash and forever... and it still hurts.


  1. I often think of CT. My oldest in two months younger than CT. As I see her becoming a teen-ager, I'm also saddened because I constantly have CT on my mind when I look at my daughter. I'm also STILL angry. She should be here. Her family should be holding her. She should have her first kiss, her first dance, going to middle and high school. My heart aches for you and CT's family.

    I know how much you miss your mom and there is a hole in your heart. Hold tight to the memories you have of her. In that way, she's still alive in your heart.

    Sending massive hugs.

    Megan xxx

  2. I was thinking of you and your girls as I typed this post. Hug them extra tight for me tonight, please.


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