Sunday, May 11, 2014
"Firsts" are quixotic. They can be thrilling events such as first steps, first dates, and first kisses. Sometimes they are less so: the first holiday season away from home or the first holiday season at home without your children. The most difficult firsts are those that have no hope of change. They will be followed by a second, a third and so on.
Mother's Day is one of those.
Irene Catherine Barker died last fall at the ripe old age of 95. It was a relief of sorts, as she had been in a nursing home for several years, enduring what none of us want to endure. When I say that I miss her, I mean that I miss the mom she was during her vital, sentient years before she lost the ability to walk, to hear my voice or to even recognize me.
I thought about this commemorative day all week, planning to visit her grave site and place flowers in her memory, but the day is nearly over and I've yet to go. Her passing is still too new, too raw to go to the cemetery with the crowds who trek there today in ritual homage. Yesterday I caught myself several times, wondering what I could get for her, to make her smile and feel special before realizing that won't happen again....ever.
Tomorrow I will go, when the crowds are gone and I can be alone with her. Now the visits are for me. She won't know I'm there. All I can hope for is that the love and care she gave me during her lifetime continues to shine through her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.