Mondays. They have become a salve for my soul.
This morning, on my way to work, I stopped by the florists and went right to the cold case and picked out three Gerber Daisies in various colors that suit my
fancy at the moment. One for my office which is displayed in a white vase that
holds only one stem - today I chose vibrant pink. One for my dad that
goes in a vase that sits in his kitchen and has a picture of my mom
taped to it - today I chose a variegated daisy that is white with purple in the middle. One which is wrapped in cellophane with greenery and a pretty bow -
today I chose red.
In August 2010, Harold and I went on a three week vacation that started in Barcelona where we stayed in a quiet neighborhood by the ocean for four days, then boarded a cruise ship that took us through the Mediterranean and ended in Venice spending four days wandering around the streets of that magical city. It was a time that helped bring us closer together to fix the cracks from all the stress of our blended family and build reinforcements for upcoming and unforeseen events. My parents were thrilled we had this time together and wanted so much for us to be happy. We had been planning this trip for nine months. When we left, my dad wasn't doing the best but mom said she would email me. All reports were fine. On our drive from the airport I called mom, as is tradition when I go on a trip, to let her know we landed and were on our way home. I asked about dad and she told me he had been in the hospital for several days and was not doing well. I was so upset she hadn't told me but I know she wanted me to have a wonderful vacation and much needed time with Harold. Over the next several days I thought we were going to lose him and it was during that time I realized how selfish I had been with my time. I knew I would have major regrets if I didn't make a change and find more time to spend with them.
I know I said no pictures, but I couldn't help it. They are my world. They defined me. They love me. They accept me. They are my biggest fans when everyone in the world is against me. They love me skinny or fat. So, I present, Momma and Daddy. This was taken the month before she died. She was in horrible pain and the infection was taking over her body. But you wouldn't know it from their smiles. They would celebrate their 54th anniversary December 28th this year. High School sweethearts. The first loves of my life.
So, that is when my Mondays at moms started. She had a list of things for me to do or to bring to help make things better for dad. I did housework and slowly he got stronger and eventually has made a full recovery and is stronger now than he has been in years. That day became my time for talking to them, laughing with them, eating with them. Just being with them. Mom always made dinner and would balk if I suggested or actually brought dinner so she didn't have to fuss. She fussed over me and I loved and cherished my time with them. It was the one place I could just be me.
Since she died, I my Mondays have changed. Oh, dad and I still share a meal, I do some housework, and help him make decisions and do projects. Tonight we are going to put together the 12 days of Christmas mom had ready for the grandchildren (27 of them), and decorate the tree. We will cry and hug and talk fondly of her. It will be wonderful and healing. But now, on my way to dads, I stop to see mom.
Today I will lay a wrapped red daisy next to the headstone that was set last week. I want her to know I love her and think of her. I know her spirit isn't there, but it is a physical and tangible thing I can do. A concrete place I can go. A place of reverence and solace.
This morning, the girl at the counter remembered me. She talked to me like we were old friends. She took care of the flowers with skill and care and told me to have a great week and said "I'll see you soon".
Yes you will sweet girl. Next Monday morning.