Today marks five years. I’ve been dreading this day for a very long time. Which doesn’t really make sense since there isn’t a day where I ever think “Wow, today’s a good day not to have your Mom”.
I’m a mess today, as I expected. Your boys are sleeping in their basket next to your desk that I use as mine now. Leonard Cohen is playing, his last album. The mostly cold coffee is sitting sourly in my stomach and I keep drinking it.
I am still missing you. And so not able to do anything with all of that. I am still trying to figure out ways to do things that hold your presence close. Last night, it was a rijstafel for 12 people, all a little bit different and with their own history. The things I take from you are making room for those who don’t fit, paying the bill secretly and feeding as many people as you can.
You make me strong in my convictions not to go and do something because it is easy, but rather because it is the right thing. Which are rarely the same. You remind me to stay true to who I am even when I know it would be easier to just stop trying so fucking hard and go with the status quo.
I’m tired, Mom. How did you do this for so long, swim upstream against the status quo? I never thought about how you must have grieved for Oma. You just kept going, kept us from derailing. I miss your strength and your stubbornness.
I’m looking up at your big frame. Later today, I am going to park a chair near it and serenade you with my banjo playing. I can still hear you telling me after I unpacked the first banjo from the mail order catalog, that if I wanted you to die sooner, I would play that banjo. I don’t know of many other people who would say that to each other. In the end, I didn’t play that banjo much and you still went way too soon. I’ve come a long way since that first banjo and I think that I will play some of that for you, in the spirit of our relationship. It’s not like you can stop me now!
Most of all, Mom, I wish you had been here these past five years to be part of these memories with me.
I love you, for now and for all time.