Last week was one of those weeks… you know the kind. The ones where your schedule is lined out perfectly, and if it weren’t for the very worst week of awfulness the week before, you’d be in great shape–but then… THEN it turns out you’ve rescued a very high-needs kitten, have a new puppy who keeps needing medical attention, and suddenly your great-shape week becomes a string of sleepless nights and cancelations…

Thank God for a new week.

And so far, for Monday, it’s been pretty ok over here. I slept great, managed to tackle a few small areas in my crazy-neglected house, and knocked some stuff off the list. I was feeling pretty accomplished and proud of my productivity and time management when the mail showed up. I was already taking Elenor for a quick walk so I grabbed it on our way into the house before the chilly sprinkles turned into full rain.

We all get the same mail these days… Bills, junk, ads, more bills, and “special offers” that really aren’t that special at all. Mixed in the middle of all of that nonsense was a card addressed to me from a return address I didn’t know. Curiously I opened it to find a beautiful card with a note from my mom’s hospice provider. Suddenly I was right there again, this time last year, sitting vigil at her bedside waiting. Always very soon the nurses said, but waiting for death can truly take forever.

It’s weird to sit here, nearly a year later, and realize this oddly-orphaned feeling will celebrate its first major milestone next week. If you’ve read my book, it may not even make much sense to you that I just then felt like an orphan after the journey I’ve had. Life is funny like that… It’s like my mother’s lack of mothering gifted me neglect and abandonment issues, but it wasn’t until her Alzheimer’s progression that I really felt the true, unreachable depth of that. Once she took her last shallow breath it sealed the deal. Things that, to the mind, shouldn’t feel one way often surprise us.

Over these past six years I can recall these stepping-stone moments that altered me to my core. Each one reminded me that I would, from that point on, never be the same again. Sometimes this was a very good thing, while other times it was simply the way life works sometimes.

In the card from my mom’s former hospice provider was a seed packet for Forget-Me-Nots. Perfection. I’ll tuck them away in my potting bench, for when it is time to sow them. I’ll be tucking the card away too. It may have caught me off guard, but I don’t need it to remind me she’s gone, and therefore a part of me left too.

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