It's Sunday morning, and I'm making blueberry pancakes for my wife and our son. And I'm thinking about my mother.
Longtime readers know about my mother. For the rest of you, my mother died when I was ten years old. Without saying too much, she was manic depressive and took her own life. (This is what I wrote about it a couple of years ago, if you want to know more.)
Mom was the kind of person who would make us blueberry pancakes in the morning, when she could. She had a disease. There was a lot of time when she couldn't - when she was in the hospital, or when we were in another house (away from the potential danger of our sick mother). Or just in bed, unable to get up.
But she made us pancakes, and she read us stories, and she tucked us into bed at night. When she could, she was the best mother she could be. And that's where I reconcile this. She did the best she could, but her disease made it hard for her to be there - and ultimately, to be anywhere at all. To be here.
I mourn the loss of that woman who raised me, and I mourn the void. I have lived for twenty-seven years without her. My mother never saw me graduate high school or college. I am thirty-eight years old. My mother married when she was 21, had three children by the time she was 25, and died before her thirty-fifth birthday.
She never met my wife. She never saw Oliver. But Oliver has seen her, and I tell him that she's his grandma Anne. He will never meet her in this world, but she is his grandmother, and there is some of her in him, and there's a lot of her in me.