This summer I screwed up. I behaved in a most unladylike way. It doesn’t matter how or why. I behaved in a way that made people who know me really quite well express shock. I behaved in a way that was totally out of character. I made a spectacle of myself. This wasn’t the sort of situation where I could go back and apologize, so I was a bit stuck. In the end, I drove out to where we scattered mum’s ashes and I told her what I’d done and apologized.
She wasn’t there. I mean, she was in so far as that was the spot I tipped her mortal remain. I just didn’t feel any sense that she heard me. I was mostly left feeling miserable by myself. I was mildly annoyed and I told her so.
If you knew my mother, you can imagine her response. (Something to the extent of “Cheryl-Nancy, I’m dead. I’m fertilizing the roses and the thistles. I raised you to be a lady. I can’t imagine why you did that. You should be embarrassed.”)
I suppose it’s no surprise she’d come to me in the middle of HomeSense. I was staring at the Staffordshire Christmas plates. I’m almost certain we had a set, you know back in the 80’s, when dessert plates were a thing. There was a tray in the shape of a Christmas tree, and then plates. I remember something about rum balls.
And suddenly she was there. Right there next to me, telling me about the plates. About how they were chipped, about when she used them.
I’ve thought a lot about that. How she wasn’t there when I needed her, and was there when it was sort of immaterial. In an ideal world, I’d tell you that there was some sort of resolution in HomeSense.
But for a brief moment, with all her faults and flaws, she was next to me.
It’s was 4 years ago today. About this time of day. Beautiful bright sunshine and fresh snow, like today.
I miss her.