I have a rock in my pocket. It’s kind of a mutating rock. Sometimes it seems small, like a pebble. Today it’s a boulder. Last night, saying good-night to my boys, it seemed like a mountain.
How does one write about this? How does a person put down into words the countless emotions that run through my head when the thought “My mother is dead” comes sneaking in? For that is what happens a million times a day.
At home: I need to go the store and my mother is dead. What are those children doing up there and my mom is gone.
Watching T.V.: What a sweet movie. Mama would love this, but I can’t tell her about it because she is dead.
Coming home from Statesboro: I should call mom and let her know that we are on the way, but I can’t because she is not there. She is dead.
You see, rocks.
I feel muted. Not like someone has turned down the volume, but like gray and mauve and teal and burnt umber. Doesn’t that sound so very teenager angst? I feel – young. I feel – fragile. I look around at my children, who I won’t lie, keep me distracted somewhat from the immediacy of the emotions. How can I have time to break down when Jude is screaming at Sam who is chasing the dog because the dog bit him? I mean, who has time for all of this emotion when there are these children to take care of. I think I feel young because I look at my kids and I think that I am not ready to face the next few years with them without her. I feel young in that I want my mama.
But it’s a very odd sort of want. I know that she’s gone. I’m not in any kind of denial – I’m too pragmatic for that. It’s this whole facing mortality thing. It’s the knowledge that what happened to her not only has happened to other people in my life, but will happen to MORE people in my life, will happen to ME in fact and though I should be rejoicing because, hey, we all have to die and she lived a good life and she loved the Lord, blah, blah, blah, but it’s maddening to think that any of my family, at any moment could be gone and there is nothing I can do about it. There is nothing that I can say or think or feel that will change the inevitability of that. I think, surely, God wouldn’t take my husband or one of my kids from me because I’ve already been through this twice, but that’s BULL. God doesn’t work like that. THE WORLD doesn’t work like that, so what’s it all for? That is what I have to ask myself and what I have to come to terms with and what I have to FACE for the next however many years until I become the rock in someone else’s pocket.
That’s the rock in my pocket. Or pebble. Or mountain.