|Mom's roses, flourishing.|
We had a lovely ten days on the Cape, with absolutely beautiful weather and great times with the extended family. I probably ate more lobster in the last week than I've eaten in my entire life, but that's not something to complain about. (Lobster eggs Benedict is a brilliant idea, and hollandaise sauce is so easy and delicious, who could resist?)
Last Saturday, my nephew married his sweetheart in a lovely ceremony, followed by a delightful reception. DH indulged me tremendously by dancing with me for most of the time that dancing was happening. DD wondered how much I'd had to drink because I seemed, she said, "very happy." I was happy. It was wonderful to be with my family for such a positive reason. It was delightful to see how the little ones are growing up. And it was really fun to dance, and for whatever reason, the crab slept through the whole thing, so I didn't even think about having pain.
My brother and his family didn't come back to the house after the wedding, since they flew back to Louisiana early Sunday morning. I confess when I woke up Sunday, my first thought was, Why are we still here? It's over.
But it wasn't, of course. DH had only been in since Thursday, and there were things we could still do, like go out for dinner at our favorite French restaurant, bike the Shining Sea path to Woods Hole, and of course, put the house back in order so we could leave. I actually did lose count of how many loads of laundry I did, since there many towels and sheets as well as all our clothes.
Plus dusting and vacuuming and cleaning out the refrigerators and getting all the trash and recycling out for pickup, and feeling weird about not having done any yard work. Then packing all our stuff and the stuff that had been Mom's that the kids wanted, and somehow fitting all that in the trunk of the rental car.
One last lunch at the best local burger joint, and then it was off to Boston to drop DS1 at the airport (he's road-tripping to California with his friends) and then on to Connecticut. I almost cried driving over the canal. We're never going back.
I understand that it's not a bad thing, it's not wrong that this is happening. This is the way things are. I imagine millions of people experience this exact thing ever year. Parents die, houses are sold, lives move on. So it goes, but it hurts.
When I was just out of college, I got a copy of The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh (long story, not worth the telling). I had loved hearing the stories when I was little, and I still love the original Disney cartoons, but I had somehow forgotten the last story, when Christopher Robin comes to Pooh to tell him he's going off to school and won't be able to play with him in the Hundred Acre woods every day. It broke my heart when I read it, in my early twenties, before I'd had any children. Even then I was overcome with nostalgia and a keen awareness of the inevitable loss that the passage of time imposes on all of us.
I get pangs of that same nostalgia when I see DD's beat up old teddy bear in her room, still perched near her beanbag chair. Like Christopher Robin, she will always have her Tety to remind her of those times, even if she can never go back to the days of Tety and his friends and the adventures she and her brothers had together. I have a few things from my mother's house, but it's not the same. Even though I have a home with my husband and children that I love, Mom's house never stopped being home, until today. The Hundred Acre woods are closed.