Wow. It seemed so far away, and here we are... almost.
I will get on a plane, in two days, to take my mom to my brother's house in Albuquerque. And then... poof ... she's gone. I'm free of the responsibility. I go home a couple days later. Home to ... NOT having to go visit, NOT having to pick up Ensure and yogurt. NOT having to check her clocks every few days. NOT having to plan my day around when I can manage an hour or so to sit, possibly knit, and visit .... about nothing. And everything.
I surprised myself today.
My mother has, for YEARS, said she needs to have "a big cry". Even when my father died, in 1993, I don't believe she deeply cried. She has trouble with emotions. But I think she aches to cry, to express the emotion that she wants to feel. She talks a lot about "the bit cry".
Today, as we packed up the contents of her rooms, we looked at each other, and talked about our impending separation and she talked about the 'big cry'.
And I started to tear up.
It surprised me. I have had such conflicted emotions about my mother. Anger, resentment, tenderness, sadness, impatience. Is it love? I honestly don't know.. or haven't been able to say.
The last few weeks have been filled with logistics. Arrange for legal transfers. Change addresses. Open new accounts, close old accounts. Pick up my brother at the airport at 2:30. Rent the truck at 3:30. Call the helpers about when we're arriving at the apartment. Go to apartment. Pack truck. Disconnect phone. So, I've been playing Project Manager these last weeks.
Then ... this afternoon ... the tears almost came. Welled up. Subsided.
But it's about time. Tomorrow, my brother leaves at dawn with the truck. My sister arrives with her family midday. We hang out ... and Saturday (day after tomorrow) we leave for the flight to Albuquerque. I will stay to get her settled for a couple of days, then return home. Free.
But between now and then, I know I will cry. And that's a gift. I thought that my ability to cry about/for my mother was robbed of me, robbed by my anger and pain. I will have the gift of tears, the gift of being able to mourn. Because only with mourning can we move to that time that is beyond the mourning - days of peace, of (in time) knowing what's next.
When I was 17, I left home three days after graduating high school. And I sobbed for hours. I cried for things I didn't even know, wasn't even aware of. Just blindly sobbing.
Now, finally, almost 45 years later, I will cry. And I will understand why. What a gift. Something I can own, emotion that finally can allow me to grieve, and then ... break free.