I did not think of my mother yesterday. Not once that I can recall. I sit with that thought this morning and discover a new depth to grief, another layer to the guilt that rests with me, guilt I can intellectualize away, but guilt that nonetheless sits in my heart, its presence heavy.
There are more times now when I picture my mother not as she was at the end of her life, but as she was in the middle of it, that time that I now occupy in my life. I see her with my father, with her friends, with us. I see her smile, hear her laugh and watch her sit on the couch with a book, always with a book. I hear her on the phone when I am home from school, sick....well, maybe not that sick...and watch the way she took each day as it came, from joy to tragedy and back again. I see her and know that I was loved and pray that she knew she was, too.
It is hard to know that I have friends, new friends, wonderful women who come into my life at a time of significance, a time of transition and know they will never meet my mother, never recognize her face, hear her voice. But then I see how it is, how it always has been. They will know her through me. They will learn of her by how I live, by how I love, by who I am. They will know her warmth through mine, her laughter through mine and her life through mine.
I did not think of my mother yesterday but I carry her with me always.