The sun rose today, just as it has every other day over the last two years, but behind clouds. It rained. Thanks universe, I appreciate the sentiment.
I have been thinking of my daughter Margret today, and remembering her fondly.
I've been remembering good things, fun things, happy things like what a great giggle she had, how much she liked ice cream, how we would sit together and watch Dancing with the Stars - especially the season Billy Ray Cyrus was on. She would clap her hands in delight, sometimes giggling at the same time. She cast ALL her votes for Billy Ray that season. Until he had to leave.
Did I cry today? Yes, a bit. I cried as I was remembering my feelings when the doctor said "end stage," how I was shocked, yet at the same time, not really surprised at all. Then the scramble to let people know it was time to say goodbye. I'm grateful to each and every one who came to tell her, one last time, how much loved she was. Her passing was peaceful, and quick. I held her hand, and tears rolled down my face. The feeling as I let go of hope I didn't know I was still clutching was like water pouring from a pitcher, vanishing as it streamed from the pitcher's lip. Not a very good explanation, I don't think, but the best I can manage. Then numbness set in, and the numbness let me function in those sad first days after.
Margret belongs to the past. Never again will I track doctors appointments for her, make sure she has all her prescriptions refilled in good time, check to see that she's up with her alarm clock in the morning, help her change an oxygen tank. Lots of things in the Never Again list.
Margret also belongs to the present because I think of her every day. Some days I smile, remembering, while I put the silverware away, what an amazingly consistent and neat job she made of it doing the same thing. Other moments are less happy. I still miss tucking her in, the good night hug and kiss, little interchanges like our "Good night, Margret, sweet dreams." "Good night Mama, I love you."
She also belongs to the future. My newest granddaughter, according to her mother, makes some of the same faces that Margret did, some of the same gestures, and sometimes doesn't close her eyes all the way when she is asleep, another Margret trait. That is comforting in a way I can't explain. It just is.
Yes, I'm still here. I'll never forget my sorrows, but I know I'm not finished with my joys. I'll go on living and loving and doing fun things.
I'll rise again tomorrow. Just like the sun.