Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Monday, March 15, 2004

We're gonna have a celebration

Mom had bought a bunch of cards on her last big shopping trip with Sonia. Several Valentines, but only Dad’s and Sonia’s were signed. One card was for “Daughter,” so I took that one for myself. Among the others are three sympathy cards and two bridal shower cards, though Dad and I can’t figure out who they’re for, and one Congratulations on Your New House card for Paul and Hope. She had signed it from Mom and Dad, so We tucked that card away for when they closed on the house they had bid on. FHA and the homeowners and the inspectors couldn’t agree on much, so it took longer than anyone had expected.

But Paul and Hope closed on their very first house on Friday. I’m so happy for them. I’m proud of them too, even though that seems patronizing in a way, Paul being my older brother and all. I probably wouldn’t be so afraid of being patronizing if we hadn’t bought a home first, and our looking for and buying a home wasn’t the catalyst for Paul’s own househunting. I’m embarrassed to say that I may have encouraged that. Everything we do turns into a competition, even if we don’t acknowledge it.

Brooke and I discussed the plans for the next few months, including that we need to make a list of all of the birthdays and events to be had and gifts to be given. Between now and June, Hope, B’s mom, Paul, Dad, B’s stepdad, B’s dad, and I all have birthdays, we have to find gifts for the housewarming, and we have to remember Mother’s and Father’s Days. Brooke started talking about what she wanted to do for her mom this year, and I felt my abdomen contract. Reflexively, I started to curl into a ball, but I was on the bus, and my computer was in my lap. I had to grab the bar next to me to sit up straight again. I didn’t want to cry and willed myself not to, but the thought of Mother’s Day makes me more sad than anything has in a long, long time.


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