Remembering

I didn’t need a reminder that my Mom is gone. Not even a friendly reminder. Especially not a friendly reminder from an automated email system telling me that “Mother’s Day is coming soon! Order now and save!” I didn’t need this same cheerful email to remind me that last year I bought the “Hugs and Kisses” bouquet of purple irises and red tulips. After all, they were my signature Mother’s Day gift: a vibrant and energetic collection that screamed springtime. There was nothing subtle or forgettable about this annual bouquet.

I didn’t ask for the reminders, but there they are in my inbox, making sure I haven’t forgotten anything about my Mom or her place in my life. I read these messages and want to shake my computer shouting, “I have not forgotten ANYTHING, you fool! You stupid, stupid fool.”

If someone were to ask me how long it’s been I would need only a minute to calculate that the long, surreal January night was exactly 10 weeks and 3 days ago today. Weeks and days…the last time I counted time in weeks and days I was cradling a newborn.

Like the bizarre way the clock can simultaneously stand still and race forward when you are raising babies, so does it move when you have lost someone dear. It was only moments ago…It was a lifetime ago…I will never ever be OK…Life is somehow still marching on.

I find these contradictions surprisingly grounding. They tell me that I don’t need a clock or a calendar to remind me that time is not what it seems, or that life is too short to be fearful and too long to be unhappy. They remind me that even though time erases moments, the important ones are indeed unforgettable.