It’s been difficult for me to verbalize exactly what my body is reacting to, and why I feel so guilty taking care of myself. Not working? Napping? Reading? It sounds guiltily decadent. I’m not used to being both vulnerable and uncomplicated, and it’s left me out of sorts.
I found some words last night. I now recognize this as a deep, physical trauma. One I can’t ever recover from, but with rest and perspective and support, I can learn to live through.
Mommy. I won’t hear her old-school ringtone again. Or her repeated, Brooklyn-tinged requests for bottled “whaw-duh.” Or her trash judge shows playing in the background. No more peeking in her room to see damn, why is this woman’s snoring SO. LOUD? No more reminiscing of Greta’s cakes, or long-gone Roanoke kin. No more recounting of hair wrapped in juice cans, or her first job as a domestic, where a white lady would step out her underwear and stockings and leave them where she stood. No more talk of the importance of unions, of civil servants’ rights, or the rights of immigrants and older students to get a good, free education at New York City Community College.
I think I’ll move this from Facebook to the blog, and if any of it resonates, you tell at least one person, and that way Mommy is still here, in our consciousness. If I know she’s remembered, it’ll sow the seeds for my own peace.
I’m trying to appreciate this unusual downtime; as much as this double-edged city will let me. Struggling to be less of a Virgo, and get comfortable with out-the-box ideas. I’m trying to let more go (pray for a sister!). Struggling to rein in a runaway brain flooded with new, life-changing information. I think of our mother-daughter bond and feel as if my very DNA is floating about like liquid in a lava lamp, regrouping, knitting me back up. Recalibrating, a soror called it.
Five years, a friend from City Tech said to me yesterday, her voice certain and strong. It’ll take five years before you start feeling like yourself again.
This is Day 22. It’s a stormy one.