It's an amazing August morning. The sun is shining and although it would be great to have some rain on my crunchy grass, I'll take the sunshine. A slight breeze blows through me as a sweep the front porch (so like my mother). There's even a stray dog there looking terribly hungry and lost; I quickly grab some bread from the kitchen and hope he takes the bait. He hides in the corner and an hour later, the bread is gone and so is he.
Today is one of those milestones for my husband that is calendared later in life. It was two years ago today that his mom,Veta, went home to Neil; and automatically, I think of my mom, three years ago December, who journeyed home. Days like today become a benchmark for children. A day that for some reason we judge all other days upon. A day when a part of one's heart that has always been within a stone's throw, leaves. That seems so odd, something so stable, someone so important is suddenly gone and life must continue.
I remember when daddy died almost 25 years now, I watched as they closed the top of the casket, a movement very much like one of those slow-motion moments in a horror film - a sign that something ominous was behind the door or on the phone. One inch, then two. As the slick-haired, funeral type physically lowered the top, I felt my body following his direction. I remember thinking how can life ever be the same. It did. The next day the sun rose and cars were actually seen on the highways, and life went on without daddy.
The cycle of life continues, and it's okay. I will be okay. I have to keep telling myself that, that this is the way the good Lord intended it to be. What remains will be a testament to the life lived. But no matter the common sense thought, tears still fall and chairs remain empty.
That's when we gather up all the moments over the past fifty-or-so-years, hold them close and never forget. These will carry us through each day, beyond the shadows and away from the fears. Thank you mama, Veta and all the others that have left. I will be okay because of you.