i have very slowly been sorting through my mother's items; things that have landed in my possession in the last six months.
when she was shaken from remission and diagnosed with leukemia cutis (a systemic form that manifests as skin lesions) we were told the game was up. the doctor said she would be lucky to live two months. she managed four.
before she went into hospice, i would often leave her apartment with a mysterious bag or box she pushed my way, full of items i needed to distribute, donate, trash, or keep. she got to work on her grand purge with great focus and determination, even though she was often in excruciating pain and she felt nauseous most of the day.
on my side, the bags and boxes piled up. i had no time to sort. i was working, mothering my seven year old, running my mother's errands, taking her to daily treatments, trying to keep a house full of pets moderately tidy, researching possible assistance, preparing for yule, and finishing the day with an election-gone-to-shit. i am blessed with a very patient spouse who settled me down or heard me out. i had no time to sort.
my mother passed as peacefully as one might hope on feb 3, 2017. the months leading up to it feel like an eternity wrapped into a missile. six weeks after blast off i'm still trying to come down to earth.
here on earth one of my tasks is to sort through my mother's things while trying to orient to life without her. while my mother didn't have that much stuff—there are so many single items that vibrate with her essence, or emphasize her mystery. i don't want to pass up this study. i don't want to push her things into the crawl space where they will disappear under the things my family of four accumulates.
my mother would probably be appalled to know i'm about to blog about her private world. for me it's an exercise in archiving. i am a writer who hasn't had much time to write. an examination of what she has left behind will help me to emerge with a better perspective on our lives. it's a way to honor her too, whether or not she would approve!
maybe i won't come up with much, but here it begins. at the ending.
a raw investigation of a woman alone.