It’s another in a long line of cloudy, damp, windy, chilly days. Nothing warm and fuzzy about the weather here for Mother’s Day. In fact, I’m cuddled into my bedroom chair, sipping hot coffee and wrapped in a blanket. Grandma’s will be unable to send unruly grandchildren outside to play; adult “kids” will be stuck inside with no distractions from mom’s prying questions or complaints (if she’s that kind of mother). I suspect there will be more than a few tears related to the weather today.
I don’t often go back into The Old Neighborhood anymore, so it surprises me that when I get into the car my iPhone automatically tells me it’s 18 minutes to Redford. My husband says I must still have the Redford address listed as “home” in Google apps. He’s probably right - I haven’t checked, and most likely I wouldn’t change it anyway. It’s not because I still think of Redford as Home - I don’t. But it’s a comforting reminder that it WAS home for almost four decades - longer than anywhere else I’ll ever live.
Lately I’ve fallen down one of those rabbit holes of inquiry so common among readers. Sometimes they can be a bad thing, right? You go slip sliding away from whatever it is you’re focused on and within a bare few minutes your attention has gone careening like a pinball from one topic to another. Usually this kind of destructive activity can be traced directly to the internet. You click onto Google to look up a fact, and the next thing you know you’re buying a pair of sandals from QVC.
Sometimes, thought, the rabbit hole is a good and true thing, a shower of creative sparks skyrocketing inside your brain, making your fingers itch for a pen or a QWERTY keyboard so you can capture some of them before the shine goes dim.
I’m happy to say, that’s the kind of rabbit hole I’ve been living in for the past few days.
Spring has been peeking around the edges or our days lately, so walking outdoors has once again become a “thing” that I/we do every day. Lacey and I go out early before many people in this community are out and about in their cars. She revels in all the scents on the ground under her nose; I revel in the warmth of the sun and the songs of the birds above my head. I read somewhere this week of a writer who referred to bird song as her “personal temple bell” - every time she hears it, she uses it as an reminder to “stop and be grateful.”
I’ve been trying to do that too on these happy morning walks. The birds here are cacophonous, so I am often in gratitude mode. Which I know is good for me because at home edginess settles on me like a prickly wool sweater. I need the softness of gratitude to smooth it out.
On March 24, 2017, the first anniversary of my mother’s death, I was in Scottsdale, Arizona, visiting a dear friend who I jokingly refer to as my “other mother.” Last year, on the second anniversary of her death, Jim and I were in Nashville at the Brentwood Arena along with thousands of other people at an Eagles concert.
Today, on the third anniversary of losing my mother, I am at home with my husband and my puppy. We do all the familiar morning things - drink coffee in bed, read, rub the puppy belly and get puppy kisses in return. We will walk Lacey along her now familiar pathways here in the neighborhood. I’ll make lunch, maybe go into town to the library or wander through Barnes and Noble and spend some of the gift card I received for my birthday a couple of weeks ago.
Then I’ll pick up some flowers and drive over to the cemetery. The flowers will not last - it’s still too cold, and technically according to the cemetery rules I’m not even supposed to put flowers out right now. This is the time of year they’re beginning spring clean ups and they don’t want people making more work for them I guess. But too bad. I’ll take them anyway.
I won’t linger long. As I said, it’s still cold here - colder than it has any right to be at the end of March. But the weather aside, it doesn’t help me to be at the cemetery anymore. I remember my mother every single day, I don’t need to stand on her grave to do it.