I didn't even call her.
I love her. I respect her. I rely on her.
But I didn't even call.
Four dozen mini white roses and a card extolling her virtues sit on my kitchen counter...silent reminders of my cowardice.
Happy Mother's Day? Hollow words to a woman who buried her youngest child four years ago today. Sure...she still has five of us here, alive. And I know that the death of one doesn't negate the joy of the others. Yet somehow, those three words of convention seem grossly misplaced on this day.
I imagine for a moment what my Mother's Day would be like if I lost one of mine. But I don't stay there for long. I don't want to cry today. I want to enjoy my whole, healthy children apart from my mother's grief. Guilt and shame settle in next to my self-absorbed cowardice.
Words of wisdom or comfort escape me, so still...I choose silence.
By the time I pluck up the courage to ask if she's available to talk, she's either in bed or too spent to answer the text. I want....I need...to talk to her, yet I'm relieved when she doesn't respond. Now I won't have to choose whether to clumsily avoid saying his name or whether to "go there" and magnify her grief by releasing my own fragility.
Fear. Cowardice. Grief. Love. All mingle in the silence. But...there's always tomorrow.
Yes. Tomorrow I'll break the silence.