Today marks one year since the Not Boyfriend's mother passed away. Just as the earth at her gravesite has not yet been completely covered over by grass, sometimes it still feels like her soul is present.
My heart is heavy with my love's today. And I am grateful for all his mother showed me about parenting into adulthood, through an illness and after death. Just a few months before she surrendered, she leaned in and told me to take care of him. I could only nod and say, "I promise."
Pieces of her life are placed in the Not Boyfriend's new apartment -- a water pitcher in the window, a poster with funny motivational phrases in the bathroom, a small needlepoint-upholstered rocking chair in the corner. Her bright green Kate Spade bag is tucked among the clutch purses in my closet, a lozenge and a lip balm and a few carefully folded kleenexes she placed in the inside pocket still there. A necklace she left for me is around my neck. These are things, just things. But the imprint of her and the others who have owned those heirlooms -- I believe strongly those are still there.
Send some comforting thoughts to the Not Boyfriend today, please. Help me blanket him on a day (and days) when mothering love will bring him peace. Then call your own mamas and grandmothers and women who have shaken their heads and fingers at you, who have pushed you to be more yourself, who have shown you love with cookies and Thanksgiving dinners and silly cards. Hold them tight to you today. And care a little bit more for you today, too -- in some small and kind way, as a thank you for carrying on the lessons and the heirlooms, and for mothering yourself when that's what you have to do.
And if you see a lady bug, let us know. It the NB's mother's way of still speaking.