It started out rough, a round trip drive to a birthday party in New York. Fifty people, screeching babies, small, hot room.
Round trip drive on a sunny Sunday. No real traffic issues going. Hated to end it and, on the first lovely day in a very long time, go indoors to face a crowd. Not my favorite thing.
Trip home, glided right through as if Interstate 95 was opening her heart to me and as the sun set, I felt like I was driving on velvet and that a gigantic magnet was pulling me home. My home. Safe, warm and free from judgments, from the noise, the crowd. Blessed relief.
I remember my mother telling me that in all her life, she never had a surprise party. In fact, I doubt that in all her life, she was ever the center of attention, that she always took a back seat, allowing her family to have places of honor. I remember how many parties she threw, how many little nice times she planned for my father's birthdays. I remember the love she had for her grandchildren and the ways she honored them with special celebrations, carefully thought-out and personalized gifts.
And I sat in a hot and over crowded room, at a birthday party, wishing that God was better at division, fractioning off time, as I watched the faces of those of us who had lost our own mothers, knowing what their thoughts were, and I cried all the way home.
This week would have been the week of my mother's ninety first birthday and I'm mad at everyone in my family who has forgotten her and everyone who tells me to "move on" in what direction I do not know. And I wish there were some way to bring her back to the Earth for one day, if only to give her a party.
It's going to be a rough week. If you've lost a mother, you know what I'm talking about.