The gardens of Frankendael are lovely. However, I know that my mom would have been wandering through them and been unable to resist the urge to trim back some of the topiary and rearrange a few pots. At a minimum!
After a very warm and sunny afternoon, it became quite cloudy and we went back and forth between the appetizer, main course and dessert between the terrace and the restaurant and back out again. For dessert, we were smart and made our way under an umbrella. Which proved very handy since it began to rain for the third time.
At approximately 11pm, suddenly fireworks went off in the neighborhood around the park. They weren’t from me. I think everyone at the table got goose bumps. Given that the fireworks in Seattle used to start about that time, I felt like Mom was nearby.
Just before midnight, we went out front to the drive where the carriages used to come up. We lit the sparklers in memory of Marianne’s father who has just passed, my mom, Sjoerd and Joanne’s father, Marieke’s mother and for our omas and opas who have gone before us. I have to say it was that it was a very peaceful and celebratory moment. It was the perfect way to end the evening.
I am still somewhat verklemmt today. That’s just such a great word. Someone told me that the more you love someone, the greater the grief. Like there’s a nice mathematical equation. I think that’s true. Underneath the grief and the loss is tremendous love for that person and also from that person. And sometimes that is really hard to find and hold on to, especially in the beginning. But it is there and when we can make room for it again, it reappears as if it had never been missing. That is something I am trying to work through now, to recognize and honor how much my mom loved me and I her. To feel it. And it’s coming, one sparkler at a time. I wish that for everyone.