As I stand in the window this Thanksgiving morning and watch the sky change minute by minute, tears slide down my cheeks. Missing my mother. Imagining her standing in this very spot through the years of her seasonal depression watching this same sky, while I was emotionally and physically far away. I know it lifted her spirits.

When I arrived back on the scene in 2012, her vision was gradually fading. I tried to describe the sunrise to her, hoping the thousands of photographs she took of it would flood her memory. But she could only say, “I can’t see it,” not understanding how to “see” it differently. I hope she sees it now.

I don’t have clarity about my grief. Do I miss her presence, or did I start missing that long before she died? And which am I grieving now? Or is it my distance from her for so many years that I grieve and regret? I stand here seeing the sun rise through her eyes. I stand here watching the sunrise through my eyes on her behalf.

Thank you, Universe. Thank you, One Who Is More. Thank you, Mama.

…i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth…

e.e. cummings

8 thoughts on “Gratitude and Grief

  1. My mother had Alzheimer’s for 6 years before she died. The disease changed her personality completely. So I lost her by degrees long before she died. Sometimes I have to remind myself what a wonderful human being she was before those final years. That’s the person I miss. Your grief I can appreciate and share.

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    1. And your friends can confirm that she was a wonderful human being. I watched her spiral into dementia; it made me sad. I was lucky that my mother escaped that personality change. Her cognitive dysfunction was maddening, but she was still herself–in spades! Thank you for writing. Gretchen

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  2. Someone once told me “Beauty and ugliness seem to hang together sometimes.” Maybe grief and gratitude travel the same path. I’ll say a prayer for your family today, with a special thought for Stellajoe. 

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