I did my best to make the place feel like home. Fluffed it up, added lamps, pillows, plants, a tea kettle, and baskets. It’s something. And honestly, as far as dorms go, she really did hit the jackpot. It’s pretty nice. Classes started this morning and because she spent yesterday avoiding the pep-rally-type-activities in favor of pre-reading course material, she was able to ask an “excellent question” inside the student-filled lecture hall, and answer another question, which prompted the professor to ask her name. After which, referring to “what Emily is talking about” for the remainder of the discussion. This kid. The Rory to my Lorelai.
Each gathering in our family includes circling together with hands joined, for a blessing over the meal. We are a large group so “circle” isn’t exactly what happens, but whichever nebulous form appears after winding around furniture and through various rooms, it is made complete by the joining of hands. A simple connection that reminds us we’re in this together, that we are better together.
Our first night without her found us lying in the dark, Scout’s body wedged between us making the few inches of space feel eternal. But our hands found each other, fingers interlaced, resting on Scout’s warm, soft fur. We are better together. There were no words for some time, until finally Adam said, “It’s so quiet." I had no reply. Then he leaned in and held my hand a little tighter, just as a few tears reached the pillow.
It's been hard. Doable and with plenty of perspective, but hard. It was suggested that I feel content and thankful because my daughter is alive and there are mothers who would give anything to be in my place. It was a well intended sentiment, and I get it. Believe me, I wish I didn't, but I do. But there is an entire span of human experience between birth and death, and emotion is not exclusive to these events alone. We can feel grief in the absence of death. Sometimes life hurts, and that doesn't make a person less thankful or content for all the good they enjoy. Maybe it just means no mud, no lotus.
Today, chin up... look at the bright side and all that. I’m figuring out how to restructure my days, have taken knitting from hobby to sport, and am listening to a ton of music - particularly vocally driven tracks - because damn, it sure is quiet around here.