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It’s been a week since the last post, so here I go:

I have a headache from hell this morning – I feel hung over, but drank only water last night. Have no idea what that’s about. Drug my sad self into work 30 minutes late – just another point on my already-gigantic “employees who suck” file.

I kept the Maggie for 5ish hours last night – I do so love her. Jennifer, I’m so envious of you sometimes… well, all the time, really. You get to stay with Maggie Sunshine all day every day – I could be wrong, but I think that I would be a much less bitter person if I were there instead of here. Just a thought.

And I got upset with Sue this week. Sue, you know I love you. I just feel like kicking you in your tiny little size 0 butt sometimes. You were so…. different… in CA. At least that’s how I perceived you. You rode the bus, you made friends, you lived in the house with two very old difficult people, you dealt with our mother-loss on your own terms and in your own way. And I hoped that that newfound independence and sense of self would translate back to the East coast. And I’m not ready to give up yet. Maybe the self-centered little diva that we’ve been seeing in the past few weeks is just your adjustment period, and you’re going to rediscover that adult part of yourself again. Although you were very pleasant yesterday…. maybe you just forgot to unpack your adult self, and now it’ll be different?… I hope so.

I keep thinking about Mama’s gravestone. What a task – picking out your mother’s gravestone, where in 50 words or less, you pay tribute to the woman who gave you everything – life, happiness, character, strength, herself. I would say that I hope what we chose does Mama justice… but that’s just a stupid thing to say. Like a piece of granite, pink or otherwise, is going to represent our Mama, our core, the crux of who we are. Last Friday night, I went to her grave before coming to the house. I laid down on her grave, and put my head where her head would be and my feet where her feet would be, and stared into the dark sky and cried. My tears rolled back onto the ground, where the daisies used to grow. And I pictured myself sinking through the cold dirt until I came to rest on Mama’s rice-bed box, where I would then close my eyes and wake up with her. It was dark back there beside the woods, and I thought I heard a rustle, like someone was lurking… And I felt scared, until I realized that if someone’s going to hurt me, there’s nowhere I would rather be than with Mama – or the closest thing to Mama that I’ve been able to find lately.

I’m finding it so difficult to look at pictures of her lately. Last night, when I sat in Maggie’s rocking chair, I saw the picture of Mama and Maggie that’s sitting there, and I felt immediately nauseas – the pain was so intense that I just didn’t let myself feel it. Like when you go to a concert, where the music is so loud that your ears actually levelize, when the sound reaches a certain level where your ears can no longer register the sound, and you walk away with a ringing that lasts for hours or maybe days. That’s the best way I can describe the pain – when I look at a picture of Mama, the pain is so intense that my body actually “levelizes,” where if I turn away quickly, there’s a ringing that goes away after a few hours or days. But I know that if I stared too long, just like if I turned the speakers up even more, then I would break just like my eardrums would burst – and I would be damaged to the point of no longer being able to function.

I love Mama so much. I tried so hard to keep her here with us. Sometimes, when I realize that Dec 17th will be three months, a fourth of a year, I just don’t understand, can’t comprehend, how I’ve gone three months without her. HOW? HOW am I functioning? HOW am I still getting up every morning and getting in the car and going to work and conducting meetings and going to lunch with my coworkers? HOW AM I STILL HERE?!? Did ya’ll know that Dec 17th was my due date? I was 9 days late. On Dec 17th, Mama would always remind me that “Sarah, this was supposed to be your birthday.” And she would talk about 25 or 27 or 29 years ago, when she was waddling about with her first baby inside her, so so ecstatically happy, even as she remembers it. She talked about how I took forever to get here, but she’s never told me the details and I never asked. Now I’ll never know. She would tell me every year that when she saw me, I was the most beautiful, perfect thing she had ever seen… and that even though there was no such thing as a ultrasound back then, she never doubted that I would be a baby girl named Sarah. I remember once that I was upset about Daddy – just another of the countless fights that Daddy and I had during my childhood, and I cried to Mama that I knew that Daddy had wanted me to be a boy, and that he was disappointed in me from the moment that I was born. And Mama rummaged through a box of things that she had tucked away under the bed, and gave me a tiny pink outfit, and told me the story of Daddy coming home from Pratt-Reid right after they found out they were pregnant, and saying “I bought this for our baby.” That was the only gift that he ever bought me by himself – and she had packed it away almost like she knew that one day I would need that little outfit to reassure me that Daddy did love me after all. Did ya’ll know that her favorite girl’s name when she was growing up was Alice? She told me that when she was a little girl, until she actually got pregnant, she planned to name her first little girl Alice… like Alice in Wonderland.

Maybe if I ever have a little girl, she will be named Sarah Alice, and she’ll wear the tiny little pink outfit that Daddy bought for me before he knew that I was me.

I miss her so very, very much. I’ll be 30 years old in 19 days… it would be a gross understatement to say that I’m not quite where I pictured myself at 30 years old.

What a disaster. What an absolute mockery of what my life, my 30th birthday, was supposed to be.

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