I have mentally been preparing for the day since Mom died in June. October 1st she would have been 102. A milestone she wasn’t really shooting for, to be honest. She had been ready to be with Dad for a long, long time.
As a I’ve reflected on her life and all that she taught us in words and by example, I’m once again amazed at her life. She came into adulthood during the Great Depression of the 1930s. She learned how to “make ends meet with nothing in the middle.” She had an amazing memory for colors, numbers, and people.
But… her birthday was hard. I saw hospice patients. I drove around from place to place. I followed all of the PPE requirements. I made phone calls. I charted my visits. And I tried and tried to stuff the feelings deep down. I didn’t want to remember. I didn’t want to look at Facebook posts with her face and the smiling, loving faces of family. I didn’t dare open texts or emails from sibs until I was safely home.
“Don’t feel.” That was my mantra for the last two days. Except I needed to feel – to be able to relate to my patients, their families, my co-workers. I made it through. Barely. Alert co-workers knew I was off my game. I didn’t cry or bitch about [ahem] “work sh*t” or the price of gasoline. I just… existed.
I know it is part of the grieving process to have these periods of “numbness”, of not caring. But as someone who works in an empathy-necessary profession, it was a little tough to finish my work tasks. I logged off after finishing charting Friday night and found the couch and a cat and zombied out on Netflix reruns.
Saturday started with this same blah-raw-don’t care feeling. But I knew I needed to move out from that space. I finally made a big batch of bread today to try and reconnect heart and mind. Yeasty, buttery, tasty, fill-the-house-with-yummy-smells bread. Mom’s recipe. Memories of childhood came back… walking in the door from school with a fresh loaf waiting for butter and jam before I started homework. …making pull-apart bread …making cinnamon rolls.
Tied back together by the Heartstrings of memory from my family, from Mom in particular.
Tomorrow will be better.
P.S. The recipe is here. ENJOY!