Monday, July 23, 2007


I’ve been thinking about my mother a lot lately.

The other day, when HRC invited Mike Gravel and I was singled out as one of the bloggers who made a difference? I wanted to call and tell her. She would have been so proud. Laugh at her own inability to even turn a computer on and praise my using one to connect with the world.

I still reach for the phone before realizing she’s dead.

When we got in the car to drive Zachary to camp, I remembered last year. She and I were not speaking to each other. But I pulled out my cell phone, dialed the number and had Zachary tell her all about his trip to his first, big overnight camp.

She later told someone she thought my wife Jeanine had taken pity on her. It was me. We could fight, really fight, but I always loved her. She always loved me.

I wanted to call her and tell her about the beautiful trees that were planted today. Silly how a bunch of trees can make me all giddy. It’s been hard to find something to be happy about in the last week and the trees were just the thing.

They are beautiful. Two Dougless Firs, a White spruce, and two Blue Spruces. Ben walked up and said, Mom, we have a forest!

We have five new trees. A forest for a suburban boy.

I miss my mom. I wanted to have a silly conversation with her about trees. About Ben’s excitement. I could see the huge picture windows in her house and their magnificent view of hundreds of trees. How she loved to be surrounded by nature.

Of course, she’d be all over me about the rest of the mess my life is in. I would feel like such a failure in her eyes.

It’s one of those times she’s either come down really hard on me or surprise me and be completely supportive.

No… I’d hope for support and she’s come down hard on me.

Still, I look at those trees and think about her.

A good friend reminded me it’s been less than a year since she died. It’s funny… sometimes it feels like forever, sometimes it feels like yesterday. Her death was the biggest loss of my life. I remember all the pain and frustration, how hard our relationship was- I have no illusions.

My life changed not a little but drastically after her death. It keeps changing. Maybe I miss the reliability of her instability. I don’t know. It is ironic that this time, this difficult time, I find myself looking for her again.

I can pick a tape from my head.

Oh Sara, I can’t believe you are so selfish…

Oh Sara, what have you done now? Do you ever think of anyone but yourself?

Oh Sara, the babies. How can you do this to my babies?

There are other tapes, only a few, that say things like,

Sara, you will be okay. You are doing the right thing.

Sara, you are a strong woman and a good mother. Don’t forget to trust your instincts.

I can pick whatever tape I want. I can miss her terribly. The reality is, she’s gone and I’m alone in the decisions that lie ahead. And even if she were alive? I’d be too afraid to risk her response.

I’d only be talking about the trees.


Anonymous Laura said...

Moms can be the voice of reason and a source of comfort for a lot of things.....they can also have so much fear that it paralyzes them......

My Mom and I are very close....but boy can we go at it sometimes. Its the deepest hurt I have when Im fighting with her...and its also the most indescribable love all wrapped in one.

Have faith in yourself.....

sending you big hugs....

7:31 AM  

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