Yesterday, March 13, would have been my mother’s 89th birthday.
But I forgot all about it.
I thought about the day approaching on March 12th, and also a few days before that, but none of it counts because yesterday, on her birthday, I forgot about Mama until seeing that my sister had changed her Facebook profile picture — the picture you see up above — to honor her. She’s been dead for 14 years.
Just two years ago I wrote about my mother’s agonizing death from pancreatic cancer. That post was poignantly titled, Happy Birthday, Mama, I’ll Never Stop Missing You.
But it was a lie, because yesterday I forgot. I excoriate myself, wound my spirit with a self-inflicted label of “Neglect.”
Today a fire crackles on the hearth, and outside, my world is enshrouded in swirling curtains of white. Mama would have loved sitting here, seeing what I’m seeing, and it’s made me realize that time, the great concealer, is not unlike the snow.
Fourteen years is a long time to grieve, perhaps it’s long enough.
The drifting snow tells me it’s okay to forget — just a little, sometimes — and so I replace that searing label of “Neglect” with a gentler word, one given from a mother’s hand. It says “Healed.”