This is a difficult time of year. Each of my most painful losses has happened in late November and early December. Although there are years between each of them, the anniversary dates of their passings are within weeks of each other.
The passing of time has not lessened my grief. But time has kindly made it possible for the pain to burrow and hide and at times rest.
I've written several times about one of my biggest grief hurts, the feeling that I missed out on large chunks of Joe's life. Mainly, the secretive teen years and the period of time when he left to live on his own.
I'm well aware of the normalcy of a child's need to explore just beyond the reach of his mother's watchful eye.
I've reflected that it clearly happened with the turn of my head.
One moment I held a cuddly toddler on my lap and seemingly the next moment, he or she wriggled to be free, beyond the reach of my protective arms.
I have revealed before, that I believe a combination of circumstances, along with our mutually quiet and reserved personalities led to a period of a separation of sorts between Joe and me. Perhaps it was perceived on my part, but probably not.
In other posts, I've talked about how Joe and I were just starting to get re-acquainted shortly before and most definitely after, we found out about his illness. We were beginning to relate and communicate as one adult to another and especially as one parent to another.
I've mentioned that the grief, although mostly sadness, insinuates itself in other ways. I've said how it causes me to be more conscious and reflective.
I 've shared how a glance at a photo will trigger an agonizing loop of over and over again "why" questions in my mind.
I've expressed my anger at the unfairness of it all.
I started writing this particular piece a couple of weeks ago, but I keep coming back to the draft, re-reading several times and then I always get stuck right here:
"I've expressed my anger at the unfairness of it all."
That's where my heart and mind shuts down. For there is nothing more to be said, right?
It is unfair.
I can't seem to get beyond that.
But, I feel as though my story wants to lead me down a new enlightened path.
Niggling, fleeting thoughts whisper to me but disappear before I can grab a hold of them.
Frustrated, I wind up saving the draft and flipping down the top of the laptop.
As I meander on, I think about my mom, who passed away nearly six years ago.
I miss her. I miss the way we shared each other's lives. I miss how much she cared for me like no other person could.
I found out what that meant after I became a mom.
My daughter and I speak on the phone at least once a week.
This is an example of how our phone conversation always starts out:
Me or her depending on who calls who:
"What's going on?"
That little question will lead to an hour or so of catching up.
I find out how her job is going. I savor the latest, cutest thing my two-year-old grandson said today. I'm interested in how my grand-daughter is making out in her new middle school. I want to know about my grandson's struggles and successes in second grade. I want to hear about my son-in-law's food shopping trips, always with a kid in the cart, to give mom a break. I admire their devotion to family time.
After I get off the phone, Ross will ask, "So what's going on with the family?"
I'll say, "Nothing much."
Chuckling, Ross will say, "Nothing much? You were on the phone for over an hour."
It makes me think about the many hours I spent speaking to my mom on the phone.
My youngest son and I don't speak very often. That makes me sad. It's not due to any type of estrangement. I think it's just a mother-son thing. Just, I guess as it once was with his brother.
This morning I walked around the pond under a brilliant, cloudless, blue sky. I looked up and noticed that even the moon decided to hang out. It was invigoratingly chilly and I moved at a brisk pace, swinging my arms as I pushed my face into the breeze until I was numb.