For some reason I can’t stop shivering.
It’s some weird nervous system thing with me when I am under stress. It’s pretty annoying as it betrays my cool facade. I tucked them all in, Lucca snoring, Colton reading, Oscar tushy up on top of thirteen lovies. I made it almost all the way to “good night’ with Colton before I started shaking. I think there is some cosmic force connecting my mother’s spirit to me right now, in my hour of need. It’s as if she wants me to actually feel her hands on my shoulders, telling me all those things I long to hear. The things I say to my own children every night. The ones that make them roll their eyes and say “I KNOW MOM!” But I miss hearing them so much that I hammer them into their heads night after night. Saying them is almost like hearing them. Almost.
Oscar did beautifully today. Surgery was quick and easy. His awakening less so. He fought hard for 30 minutes or so, half conscious, all wild animal thrashing and crying, trying to make sense of it all. Then, with enough shushing and whispering and off key lullabying, he settled. Drank some apple juice. Began to resemble himself again. We packed up and went home from what I hope is our last trip to pediatric surgery at Yale. The routine procedure was just that, and I am grateful. But I’m still shaking.
Something in me shifts this time of year. I take on water. Everything slows. My strategy this time was to distract myself, plan a huge party (which my mom would have loved), get Oscar’s surgery over with, stay busy busy busy. It is working, to some extent. But this shaking persists.
I am sick with grief. I am alive with gratitude. I really wish you were here to actually shake me mom. Tell me to snap out of it, and celebrate all that is right before me without being mired in the past. In what should have been.
Thankfully, preparing everything for the party is like communing with her. She was at her very best when getting ready to entertain. She taught me that there is true grace in the details, of making things beautiful and elegant to honor those coming to celebrate with you. We had so much fun doing parties together, and it was serious business. She made the days leading up to the fete almost more magical than the party itself. It was the sweet anticipation of what will be, of how happy you could make those you cared about, that infused those moments with such wonder for me as a child.
So she and I are throwing this one together. On the 17th anniversary of her death, I can think of nothing more appropriate than a great, big party. No shaking, just fun.