I woke this morning to the dark.
“Woke” is a bit inaccurate, since it felt like I was awake more than asleep last night. Thinking. Those thoughts.
Five years since my mother died. Five years since that dreadful phone call from my father. Five years since I let that howl escape my throat.
In many ways, I feel that span of time as a whirl, the way a lot of us feel time: was that last week, last year, or ten years ago?
But in other ways, I feel each minute. Each lost minute. I get a little weepy. And angry.
I see a gray-haired woman pushing her shopping cart at the grocery store and I wonder what she would have been like at 70, or 80, or even beyond.
I read about a friend going holiday shopping with her mother, or taking her mother out to lunch on her birthday, and I feel resentful.
I read a book she would have loved and know I just have to send it to her, and I feel surprised when I realize that I can’t.
I see women with their granddaughters, and I feel a longing.
Don’t even talk to me about Mother’s Day.
At 42, I was just learning to be a mother, and finally getting to know my own. We weren’t close when I was growing up. We didn’t have the typical mother-daughter relationship. That only began to grow later, when I was out of college and on my own. We crept closer over the years. We were just starting to figure it out.
I feel cheated.
If I let myself, I can travel quite far down that twisty bumpy road. But it’s a dead end.
I had, and have, a lot more than many people.
Who escapes this life without loss and grief? Is there anyone who doesn’t feel a bit cheated, at least in some way?
I got up this morning and it was dark, and then I saw that crescent moon hiding behind the maple branches.
I went outside in the dark, no jacket, no socks, no gloves. My fingers were numbing and I was clicking the shutter button over and over, trying to steady myself, trying not to breathe.
There’s that moon. She’s gorgeous as ever. She’s out there in the dark, dark night, and in the bluing morning. She’s there, whirling in space by our side, even during the daylight when we can’t see her. She’s there when we search her out, round and full, slim and crescent, new and invisible, tugging at the water in us, making waves.
It’s going to be okay. It’s good to note these anniversaries. It’s good to cry, and then laugh. It’s good to feel loss when it means you’ve had something to lose.
It’s good to go out in the morning, breathe the cold air, be alive, and be part of the dawn.