It was six months ago today that my mother passed. I’d intended to let that less-than-happy milestone pass without fanfare, but I find I can’t ignore it. Today, while I was fishing around in a basket in search of an old wallet of mine, I pulled out a glove that was hers. I kept searching for the wallet and pulled out another, non-matching glove, also hers. She and I were the same size in everything, shoes, rings, shirts, and yes, gloves. By the time I’d emptied the basket I’d pulled out at least a dozen pairs of leather gloves that had been hers—some lined, some unlined, some worn, others brand new and in plastic. My mother was a particular kind of hoarder; if she found something she liked that fit, she’d buy it in every color it came in and she’d buy extras in case she wore out the item and couldn’t find it again. And I found myself laughing today. “Geez Mom, you’re a piece of work,” I told her, pulling out yet another pair of gloves, even though she wasn’t there.
Every day for six months I’ve had reason to think about her. Some days to laugh, others to cry. Some days I feel her loss acutely. Some days I carry it around with me like the yoga mat I’m so used to wearing on my shoulder I’m accustomed to its weight. Other days she’s the voice in my head, telling me to lighten the fuck up, and then it’s her doing the laughing at me.
Six months without her and she’s everywhere. She’s in the relationship I have with my own children. She’s in the decisions I make. She’s in my closets and my drawers and my baskets.
Once, long ago, when her own mother passed away, I remember Mom telling me she worried how she’d manage when there was no one left to tell her that everything would be okay. She knew, in her last months, that I’d soon be feeling that too. But I’m managing. It’s not easy, it’s not fair, it’s not right, but everything is okay. (And my hands will be warm for the rest of my life.)