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, October 11, 2004

Area woman good at laundry, loved cleaning

In the last few days, I've accepted two well intentioned compliments that I realized I hadn't ever imagined receiving. I think we all hope that people will acknowledge our strength, character, intelligence, or talents, and I suppose it would be dishonest for me to leave out such things as nice outfits and new haircuts. We want someone to recognize at least one of these and comment on them.

But last week, someone told me that I'm the kind of person who would be good at laundry. I guess I am good at laundry, but the only thing I ever hope to hear about it is Brooke thanking me for washing her clothes, as I thank her for washing my dishes.

Saturday, I spent the day working on our living room. I put together some shelves, identified the studs, spaced the shelves, drilled, anchored, and spackled as necessary. Then I vacuumed, dust mopped, and Murphy's oil soaped the floor. I organized our CDs, put them on the new shelves, added the photos and pottery that had previously perched precariously on our extremely shallow mantle. I organized the piles and moved them into the appropriate places.

And when our friends came over that evening, one asked, "How do you keep this place so clean?" and although I responded, "By cleaning frantically every time someone comes over," I was really proud of my cleaning.

God help me if this is what I'm known for.


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