I drove in silence to the home my parents shared for more than 25 years. It was my first time there since my mother’s final send-off two weeks earlier.
As I turned on to Wilmot Road, a sense of dread overtook me. It suddenly hit me. My mother would not be there waiting for me when I got through the front door. She wouldn’t be in the bed in the basement, where she’d slept for the last few months. She wouldn’t be making grits in the kitchen nor would she be asleep in her bedroom upstairs.
I glanced over at the bag containing the dozens of cards I’d received on behalf of my family since her passing. I also had the guest book from her services, a CD of the photo slideshow and the remaining prayer cards. This reminded me that within minutes I’d begin the process of erasing my mother’s earthly existence by shutting off her phone and sorting out her clothes and books to be given to charity.
Before going inside, I sat in the driveway and listened to “Dear Mama” by Tupac on the radio. When it ended, I called my mom’s cellphone to hear her say “hello” in her voicemail message one more time. Then, I sucked up my tears and walked in the front door.
Dying flowers sent to mourn her, cards from at least dozen more people, and medical bills with her name on it were strewn on the dining room table. Nothing much had changed in the house since the repast. The only thing that was different was my father was there, ready to take one small step in our new normal while holding onto the memories of my mother.
(In the last year I lost two aunt, an relative of my fiancé and my mother.)
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