I feel so muddled. I feel like everything is just absolutely out of control although really, nothing is in the whole scheme of things. It's just...oh hell. I don't know.
I do the most basic of necessary things. Laundry and cooking and bed making. And everything else seems to escape me. I have two palm trees and a camellia to plant. The woman who ran Mother's financial investments is supposed to call me about all of that today. Why in god's name am I executor of this will? I have no knowledge about any of this stuff. My mother's purse is in my kitchen. What do you do with someone's driver's license after she dies? Her Tic-Tacs? I have a dead woman's Tic-Tacs in my kitchen. How can I execute a will when I can't even figure out what to do with her Tic-Tacs? I feel like we will be finding her Kleenex for years to come, randomly scattered in strange places, revealed like ancient Aztec artifacts. I need to put all the pictures that no one else wants in one place so that when I die, someone else will have to deal with them.
Same for the newspaper clippings.
I had forgotten that in the eighth grade I was the Chaplain of the Future Homemakers of America at Dennison Jr. High in Winter Haven, Florida.
Yes. I was. There is aging photographic evidence of this. Did I lead people in prayer?
Tic-Tacs and insurance cards and the driver's license and social security card and Kleenex and the bundle of papers from my mother's divorce from my father in 1960 and her investments and The Last Will And Testament and pictures and pictures and pictures and an unfinished embroidery project and the jewelry no one wants and her remains in a box in a bag in a drawer. Death Certificates and obituaries and pictures my uncle painted and the hawks are going crazy and yes, the pecans are starting to leaf and the broccoli have all bolted and the garden is knee-high in weeds and it's all out of control, I'm out of control, I lost the bookmark in the library book I am trying to finish reading and so what? I read four pages, forget what I've read, it's not a good book anyway. The back of it promised steaming hot sex and no, it's not that Shades of Gray book. I haven't slipped that far and the sex is not that steaming. I just looked down at my knuckle and realize I knocked it on something, there's a big chunk of it missing. When did this happen and why doesn't it hurt? Big wad of dead, useless skin protruding from it.
I must have just done it when I fed the chickens.
I have the laundry running. I am waiting for the phone to ring. I have taken two backstraps out of the freezer to possibly cook for tonight. The palms and camellia are waiting to be planted and I do not know where to plant them. My mind swirls with stuff and more stuff, memories and stuff, why did my mother do this? What was she thinking? What do I do with her purse?
Some answers are easy. Throw it away. Throw away the Tic-Tacs, of course, and the Kleenex too. Throw them away. When my mother was dying the nurse put a box of hospital Kleenex on the bed beside her hand, not for her, she was done crying or having her life-long sinus problems, but for me because I was her daughter and my mother was dying and maybe I'd need Kleenex and really, I didn't, I was barely crying at all, humming Sister Morphine to myself, wondering how long to wait until I called the nurse in when she'd died, thinking, everything is different now and how, HOW will that go?
I think about how when I was in counseling, my beloved therapist would hand me the box of Kleenex and boy oh boy, I needed it then. The tears just about never ended but when my actual real mother died I didn't need the Kleenex at all, probably because I damn-well grieved the mother I never had for years a long time ago and I keep wondering if they just threw that box away when they cleaned the room. Probably.
It was two weeks ago today that I saw my mother alive for the last time, truly, and talked to her. I keep thinking of that and how horrible it was. How I left and she was saying, "I'm so nauseous," and I think I said, "I love you, I'm sorry, I have to go."
There was a box of Kleenex on the tray over her bed along with the phone, the two cups with their bendy straws pointed towards her face.
Something else, I'm sure. And because of what I am coming to believe was my mother's illness, I can't even really discuss these things with my brothers because she was such a different woman to each of us and the way she was with me was not the way she was with them, it was as if there were four of her, one for each of us and it's impossible for us to have any agreement on who she was and therefore mourning her in any way together is never going to happen and I don't really know how to mourn her or even if I want to and that, that is something I wish I could talk to my brothers about but it's shameful and they wouldn't understand anyway. And even if they did, do, they probably won't admit it. And it's impossible for me to know the way they feel, perhaps so sad that their mother is gone.
I wish they'd come get her Tic-Tacs, her purse, her Kleenex, her ashes, the pictures, the boxes, the Last Will and Testament, the divorce papers. I am sure that each of us feels as if we know, we alone know, the true Mother. I keep thinking of the blind men and the elephant.
I keep feeling like I got the hind quarters.
And I want to know what the eyelashes felt like.
Or maybe not. Maybe I just don't care.
On my good days, I don't care in a good way. I release it all and it is wonderful.
On the not-so-good days, I mostly just want not to care and feel as if I need a machete to hack my way through the simple task of living.
This is one of those. So far, at least.
I need a walk.