Oh, Mom. Your weather has made my news. I call to see how you are fairing the first foot of snow and forty-mile-per-hour winds. The blizzard is sorta fun, you say. You shovel for a bit and rest. Shovel a bit and rest.
I’d be there with you if I could. I’d shovel with you.
You say, be that however as it may, it’s important to keep your independence. Keep it as long as you can.
He lives on the far shore of an island much smaller than my own. At least I thought my ground was bigger. Maybe not bigger . . . maybe I was thinking firmer. Maybe I thought the ability to budge was the opposite of standing on solid ground.
Be that however as it may, this is how oceans grow.
On the opening day of your own joy best friends don’t show up. But, ex-husbands do. Somewhere on the scale between good intentions and broken vows, you end up on your knees. You don’t know when to believe. And even though you know belief has nothing to do with timing and everything to do with faith, be that however as it may, you still strike your singing bowl with the wrong end of the stick.
But Page is there when the curtains open, holding her grandmother’s hand. She isn’t in second grade anymore. She wasn’t last year, nor the year before. Nor the year before the year before. Somehow I hadn’t noticed. And yet I’ve known her since before her father died when she was only two.
And now here she is, glowing. She wants to buy three of our pendants and one of them should say, Promise. Because that is what keeps her going. She tells me this, trusting that— of course— I’d understand.
Where my mother lives, it is still snowing. I have only to google my home town and see they are up to twenty-six inches. I send up a message on Facebook, sharing my opening lines of this post with everyone who friends me.
Oh, Mom, I’d shovel with you if I could.
And this is when my mother’s baby sister responds on Facebook: “Our oldest sister just turned 81. She was out raking leaves last weekend. She got tired and went in the house and said, ‘I’m too old for this.’ Her husband, recovering from his latest surgery, said, ‘Who’s going to do it then?’ So she went back outside and finished it.