I can feel my Mama’s presence sometimes more than others. Immediately after she left, I felt her almost constantly. As time as passed, she’s been present less & less. At first, her absence really bothered me — it made me angry that she would have the nerve to NOT be with me when I clearly needed her so much. With time, though, I’ve adjusted. I rarely “reach” for her now… I think about her multiple times a day, but I don’t “demand” that she come to me any more. I feel like she has things to do in the place where she is — & she’s with me occasionally, but she also needs to take care of her other things that I don’t understand.

This past weekend, she was with me. I first felt her when I was, as incongruous as it sounds, cleaning the glass of our front door. As I wiped the glass, I suddenly remembered cleaning the door of our house in Townville, & then I felt her with me, almost as if she was standing right there. I talked to her & I know she heard me — not about anything of great importance, but just the kind of talk that you have with your mother when you haven’t seen her in while. I told her how much I miss her — during every good thing or bad thing, no matter how important or insignificant, I feel her absence constantly. I told her that I’m getting stronger, but that it still sucks. I didn’t feel the exact moment that she left, but she didn’t stay long. At once, I felt a wave of thankfulness that she had been there with me & an almost unbearable pain that she was gone again.

I sometimes still forget that she’s not here with me. I think “I need to tell Mama about…. oh. I can’t.”  And the realization & impact of her gone-ness echoes through everything I do again & again. As I drove my new-to-me car home last night, I told Bobby a silly little story of how Mama kept a feather-duster under the front seat of her Town & Country minivan… & as we drove down the road, she would suddenly pull it out & begin dusting the dashboard & console. Jennifer, Sue & I would protest — after all, it’s just not normal to dust your car as you drive down the road. And in response to our criticism, she would laughingly “dust” whoever was in the passenger’s seat. As I was driving the MDX home, I suddenly had the urge to pull out a feather-duster… & as I told Bobby the story, I was almost overwhelmed by the crushing weight of her absence. I still don’t understand or comprehend how she can really be gone. How can a woman who feather-dusted her car as she drove down the road be gone? She was just so damn ALIVE.

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