To begin, I don’t really feel like writing. I don’t feel like working or walking or even talking. I just want to sit here for a while and I’m not sure for how long. Given that, I will try to make this as coherent as possible.
As some of you may already know, my mother recently passed away. “Passed away” is such a weird expression. The truth is, she died, at least her body did. Mom was 89-years-old and she was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually ready to go to her eternal home but we were not ready to see her leave. I was by her side when she left, as were other members of the family. So, you’ll understand if I don’t feel like doing much of anything right now.
In spite of the emotional trauma or perhaps because of it in a way, I fell in love while I was at Mom’s place and no, my wife isn’t jealous. Her name is Autumn and she is the prettiest and sweetest little girl you will ever meet. Autumn was also present when Mom died and her heart, like ours, broke into a million pieces. There was nothing she could do but cry. She walked around aimlessly for a while and then found a quiet place and laid down but nothing helped so she and I spent time together and we cried together. I held her and stroked her hair and told her that things would be okay. I think she wanted to believe me. Heck, I wanted to believe me but it’s hard to be sure in moments like these.
Autumn was homeless when Mom took her in. They lived together and loved and cared for each other for ten years. They spent nearly every moment together and then one day Mom suddenly got sick. Shortly thereafter Mom was gone and Autumn’s world fell apart. She was alone and broken. Her joy, her love and her tomorrows were suddenly gone. No one can live without hope and I am sure in many ways Autumn wanted to lay down and die next to Mom.
I understood Autumn’s heart and her pain. I knew I could eventually go back home but the home Autumn had known for the last ten years was being packed up, she would soon be evicted and she had no place to go. I thought about bringing her home with me and was planning on doing just that until a lovely lady named Barb asked if Autumn could come and live with her. She and Autumn knew each other and were good friends. Barb teaches a weekly Bible study where Mom lived and they often spent time together. As much as I loved Autumn I knew that Barb would take good care of her and love her and hold her through the long dark night that lies ahead.
We packed up Autumn’s things and loaded them into Barb’s car. She decided to take them home and unpack first and then come back for Autumn because she wanted Autumn’s new place to be filled with familiar things when she got there. When she and Autumn finally walked out the door, I cried. It was like saying goodbye to the last living part of Mom forever and I cry even as I write this, remembering the moment and loss.
I called Barb a week or so later to see how she and Autumn were getting along. As expected, Autumn was going through the stages of grief and not yet settled into her new life. When I called, Barb was sitting on the floor in the doorway of Autumn’s new bedroom, working a crossword puzzle. They were spending quiet time together. “Perfect,” I said. Sometimes that’s what broken people and animals need, simple quiet time with someone who loves them.
Autumn will eventually settle into her new life and we will too. I guess that’s what people mean when they say things will eventually be okay. They’re not really okay but they’re different. Me and the Missus and Barb and Autumn and my family and Mom’s many friends will eventually be “okay” but okay really isn’t okay. We’ll just get on the best that we can.
I miss you, Mom. I miss you, Autumn. Thank you, Barb. I know you will love and care for Autumn as much as you loved and cared for my Mom.
I think I’m done writing for a while. Maybe later.