Saturday, April 19, 2008

Missing Her

Slowly, the reality of life without my mother-in-law is starting to take shape. We're all back to our routines, shuffling our kids to and from school, planning meals, paying our taxes, planting spring flowers. The usual. But we all seem to be a little detached, preoccupied with just how much the day-to-day has changed. Today, I confronted at least a half dozen "missing Millie" moments. As an example…for the last several years, her Friday, weekend check-in call was just another part of my late morning routine.

What do you guys have goin' this weekend? Is Jimmy traveling next week? Oh, that's a long week for you dear. You gotta get out and get a break. Did you watch E.R. this week? What about Gray's Anatomy? How are the kids doin', OK? Me? I'm fine Leigh, OK...Maybe you guys could come over on Sunday. It won't be anything big, OK?. I have a pork roast I got at the IGA. You'll never believe what I paid for it. OK...listen...that's my other line...why don't you just come on Sunday, OK? I don't know who's comin'. Whoever can come, come OK? Love you guys…

How off kilter and lonely the day felt without that call. That's the crazy thing about grief, I suppose. Yesterday, consumed in my world of kid busyness, I managed to avoid the void, so to speak. Today, however, memories emerged with each passing hour. It seemed like the most benign item spurred a recollection, and with it, a pang of sadness. As I pulled out that bent, oxidized strainer to rid the dreaded pulp from E's juice, she was surely right there in my kitchen.

Leigh, that was my grandmother's and I can't tell you how much this old, worn out thing has been used. I can't believe you're still using it. Leigh, if you like this, I got all kinds of stuff in that basement you can have. Oh, it's such a mess down there…who knows where anything is, OK? Oh, I hope the dear Lord takes me first so I don't have to be the one left with it all…

I giggled through my tears. You got your wish on that one, Mil.

Meanwhile JoJo bounces into the kitchen, hoping for a snack. I wipe my tears and attend to my little curly-Q.

"Whats da mattah Chippy?"

"Oh, I'm fine…Just a little sad about Grandma today".

"Oh…I wuv Gwandma!", JoJo says.

I do too, sweetie. I do too.

And so it goes. Life continues.

I miss you Millie. We all do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Eventually the cry/laugh ends and the laugh remains. Hang in there.