When my mom knew she was dying — early on, like maybe three days after she knew (which was probably a solid ten days before a doctor confirmed what she’d already deduced from a radiology report) — she said to my sister and me, “Your father will find someone, you be nice to her.” My sister said, “Of course.” I said, “No. Absolutely not. You don’t get to decide how I grieve and I am going to be grieving for a long, long time.”
Today is the fourth anniversary of her death and I spent it helping my stepmother unpack and move into her new kitchen. My mother would be proud of me. I know that. I can feel it. But, oh, I miss her.
She was so good at moving. I mentioned it in the eulogy I wrote for her, that was how important it was to who she was. When she moved, it was like a whirlwind of efficiency and energy, invisible 99% of the time, suddenly popped into existence to make the move painless, to turn it into a little subtle transition for her kids instead of the disruption that it really is. We’d move and a week later, it would feel like we’d lived in the new place forever. She was GOOD at moving.
I told someone recently that I’m only good at three things: editing, cooking, and writing (in that order.) And then I threw in a couple caveats about things that I might also be sort of good at. I forgot moving. I am very, very, very good at moving. Sometimes, though, moving and running are the same thing.
Today, I wish I was moving. But mostly, I think it would be running.