A few years back my sister was cleaning through my mom’s old stuff and found a pile of photos stuffed in an enevelope waiting to be put in an album. This is one of my favorites. If I had to guess, I’d say I’m about 2, which would make my mom a ripe old 26 and would place this somewhere in the late 70s (if her hairstyle alone didn’t give it away).
I’ve been looking through these photos a lot lately. My mom fell sick this past December and I’ve spent the last few months trying to reconcile the frail, fragile person she’s become with the young, vibrant lady in this photo.
My mom has always been this polarizing figure to me. A demading extrovert to my solitary introvertedness. Loud and brash where I’m quiet and watchful. We haven’t always gotten along (which is putting kindly). There was always too much difference between us.
Illness has a way of clearing away all the muck that can lie between two people. If it doesn’t quite excuse the past (and really what can) it does bring into sharp focus those things that most matter. The last couple of months have been surprising, sometimes in wonderful ways.
Anyway. I don’t mean to be maudlin. Last week my mom left for Portland, both to be nearer to my sister and to receive the quality of care she needs. She’s not quite out of the woods yet, but for the first time in months I feel hopeful and life doesn’t feel like a tornado has landed on my doorstep. Which means I should finally be posting here again.