Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Rules

I’m beginning to realize the rules have changed. All the rules.

I drove into Rochester today for the first time without any fear.

No anxiety.

I am appropriate enough, even though I met with the funeral home director in jeans. It is, after all, my mother who died. Who cares what I am dressed like?

My son is handsome in his preppy punk style. He knows the right fork to use. We will all go to a nice restaurant tonight and tell stories- only the good ones, I’m sure.

I will dream about the others. I always do. Maybe, in time, that will stop.

Always before, when we hit exit 43, two more to go, I became anxious. I would madly write the stories about what lay ahead. What will be waiting for me? What kind of mood will my mother be in? Will it be a good visit or will I need to leave early, again?

Today, I saw the familiar exit go by and noticed a large field, deep green with cut grass. In the middle of the field was a single, bright white flag pole with a worn, but in tact, American Flag.

It was beautiful.

I had never seen it before.

We sat around and went over the obituary. No one argued about what to say. We all knew it needed to be simple with as little information as possible. My mother made a name as Mrs. Anonymous and no additional adjectives would be necessary.

[removed upon request]

She didn’t mention your name on the list of speakers for the service. Only Linda and Dan.

And that means I cannot speak, to him. I believe she didn’t believe I would want to. We had this discussion many times over the years. Are you sure? She would ask. There will be so many people there. It would be easy not to.

I think she was always afraid of what I would say.

I won’t speak- Walter will return the Bjork dress.

But I will write.

Because… the rules have changed.


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