Random things that make me cry

Day 1 of Mum’s estate sale is over. A lot has sold. Fortunately, most of the big stuff has sold. We still have a couch, dining room table, clothes dryer and TV cabinet. But her beautiful, massive bedroom furniture made its way out the door.

That moment was hard. I’m grateful for it – that it’s sold, that we have the money for it, that we don’t have to move it or deal with it anymore. But it was hard to see it go. It’ll go in the bedroom of a girl, upgrading from a kid twin-size bed to a mature, pretty bedroom set. Her mom offered her condolences, and I told her and her daughter how much Mum loved that furniture.

Yesterday I took Mum’s cable TV modem and box back to Comcast. Initially, the customer service rep balked at someone other than the account holder returning items. “She’s dead,” I said. He accepted them without another word.

On Tuesday, I went to vital records to get copies of her death certificate (in case folks like Comcast thought I was merely ripping the cable out of my mother’s apartment, denying her the pleasure of Desperate Housewives — my favorite vapid show, not hers). The woman behind the counter (after she got back from a long break) offered her condolences, too. She said she couldn’t imaging not having her mama around. I couldn’t have, before, either. I made it back to the car before I started crying.

I took the kids to the airport this morning to spend 2 weeks with Kevin (I picked Kevin up from where he was staying at a friend’s house down the road and took him, too). Now I’m back at home, in an empty quiet house with the summer sun warming up the world outside. Their bedrooms seem empty. I know I’ll see them again soon and that they’re fine.

In fact, they just called. They’re safely in Chicago, looking for the pizza place that Duncan likes to eat at (it’s his favorite pizza restaurant). They love me very very very very very very very very very … very very very very much! And that makes me cry a bit too – with gladness, at least.

There’s a way that Duncan looks at me sometimes that fills me with joy. He looked that way this morning in between rub-a-noses and kisses goodbye at the airport. There’s a sparkle in his eye and a little crinkle in his freckle-covered nose. It melts me. And makes me realize that any of the things I’ve let go of or given up in order to succeed at motherhood are entirely worth it.

Being strong and put together is hard work. I’m grateful for it, though.