What happens when suddenly you're working 40 hours a week again, and trying to clean out your deceased mother's house and get it on the market at the same time? You guessed it. Run down city. The germs saw me coming a mile away. I've had the flu. It lasted almost a week, and then the sinus infection set in, right down to temperatures of 104.7 for 4 days! I had many an interesting hallucination, and was sure that I was about to boil away. I couldn't move, could barely talk, and cried for many days for my mother. Isn't it funny that no matter how grown up we are, we still want our Mommy's when we are sad or sick. And I was both. I have a photo of her in my bedroom, and I talked to her a lot while I was sick. About how I wanted to die, but didn't really want to. But how I thought that maybe I would feel better. I will never again make fun of a healthy person for getting a flu shot. I will always get one from now on. Now that I know how bad it can be, I won't put myself in that position again.
Now that I'm back on my feet, I'm back to my schedule of working and cleaning out Mom's house. But in the meantime, I've been able to get out to shoot a few times and a few weeks ago the beach was calling. A couple of weeks ago, I went up to Plum Island and Newburyport with my photo friend Karen. It was an unbelievably cold and windy day, but with gorgeous blue skies and sunlight. We bundled up in scarves, mittens and hats (not enough for me), and braced ourselves against the wind. It was beautiful and invigorating, and so many things begged to be captured that day. With all of the emotions of grieving and emptying my Mom's house, I welcomed the beauty and cold.
My friends are coming this weekend to help me continue to pack up things at Mom's. Yesterday, all of the furniture and household goods that we didn't want to keep went to a donation house. The house is not empty by any means, but watching my childhood dining table, the one we had many family dinners and parties at, was packed up into a truck driving away from me. I watched out the window as they locked the doors and drove away, crying to see my life, my Mom's life, moving away from me.
There are pieces I'm keeping because I can't bear to part with them yet. A Lane chest that carried all of our family linens and lace. My Mom's cherry dresser and mirror that housed all of her costume jewelry and scarves. The ones that I am treasuring now, and try to wear at least once a week. Somehow these pieces make me feel closer to her. In packing up the last of her clothes yesterday, there were just a few that I swear still smell like her. I couldn't let them go. I don't yet know what I'll do with them, but in the meantime, I feel like I've saved just a little of her.
I couldn't save her life, but I will try to save some of my memories.