Saturday marked six months since my mom died. To be honest, it didn’t really register until late that night. I tend not to mark dates of death – I remember my family’s birthdays, but not necessarily the days on which they died.
I’m still dealing with her estate. I’ve had to file her taxes, just like the last few years. I sold her house. I’m trying to get rid of her three timeshare weeks, which has been the most obnoxious part of this whole process. No one wants to buy timeshare weeks, I don’t want to use them, and the association won’t take them back. Grrrr. Don’t buy timeshares, kids!
I still get a lot of mail for her. Most days, she get more mail than I do.
The remains of her personal possessions are still hanging out in a storage unit. I go through one box at a time. I have let go, and let go, and let go, editing down my own possessions to make room for the most meaningful of hers. We’ve sent a few large pieces of furniture off for restoration and repair – it was cheaper than buying new pieces, and the restorer was able to tell us interesting trivia about each piece. You know how I feel about trivia.
The guest house no longer smells like her. I don’t automatically say, “Hey, mom” every time I go in.
I missed her on my birthday. I missed her at Thanksgiving. I missed her at Christmas.
Both my parents would have loved the new kitchen. My dad would want to hear all about the fixtures and finishes and shiny bits. Mom would want a dollars-and-cents accounting of how much we spent and where we were able to save.
I’ve only really lost it a few times. The most memorable and humiliating breakdown was on Superbowl Sunday, which was also my brother’s birthday. He sent me an old voicemail from mom, recorded before she got sick. She sounded like herself. She sounded whole and healthy. I couldn’t stop crying.
Throughout this season of Lent, I have been more intentional about looking for moments of joy. If you follow me on Instagram (@wtaylor), you know I’ve been posting one joyful moment each day. I am not a naturally joy-filled person, but once I started looking for good, I found it everywhere.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a walking ray of sunshine. Most of the time I’m still plagued by self-doubt and petty aggravations. But learning to look up, to quiet the constant low-level grumbling, has been an excellent practice for the last seven weeks.
If Easter is part of your tradition, I hope you have a happy one.