she's in every quiet room

Today has been 5 years since my Mom passed away quietly in the middle of the night at a Hospice House in Muskegon, Michigan. Her lung cancer took her quickly from us as it usually does. 

It has taken me five years to really move through the stages of grief, to reconcile my loss and pain and love. One year for each phase, I guess. My Dad made a comment a few weeks ago that he, not us kids, is the only one that seems to go to her internment site to visit her ashes and change out her flowers. I explained to him that the final resting place for their ashes was something special that they planned together, something between them. For my Dad, she is there and he should go there. But for the 4 of us, it is not where she is. I won't write for Misty, Bry or Steve, but for me, she is with me when I sit in the sun and drink a cup of coffee. She is with me when I am emptying out my kitchen cupboards and wiping them down in the same manner she did every spring. I finally understand that when the room is quiet, my mind is quiet, that my heart is full of her. 

It took me 5 years to get to the same place as her but I'm here. Finally. 

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
by Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am in the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.

I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush,
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the star shine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.

I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

Linda Cunningham, May 2008. Santa Barbara, CA. The first time she ever saw a whale. We stayed and watched for over an hour. I will never forget this afternoon. (This is also the morning I told my Mom I was pregnant with Charlie.)