Yesterday I took Audrey to a photography studio to get her picture taken. I figured she’s newly two still and I didn’t have any great photos. I thought it would be fun, and I thought I would feel strong- a grieving mother who takes her child for photos. I also wanted to get in a few of the shots myself- perhaps to assert that yes, this is our family now- but we are still that- a family.
It was more tiring than I thought- changing her wardrobe for a few different looks in between and trying to give her some sustenance to stay happy- cookies and lemonade that I had brought. I felt like the people who fix up the race car when it pulls in- changing the wheels or whatever they do really quickly…or the people who freshen up boxers in the middle of a fight when they come to the corner of the ring. I decided that both of these are great analogies for mothering in general. Because really we’re always nourishing and nurturing to send them back out in the end. That’s our job.
One thing I wasn’t prepared for was just this: on the drive to the studio, I passed by the funeral home we used for your funeral. I have never gone there, though you have now. Your brothers went to deliver your suit and select the casket so I didn’t even know where it was. The funeral director came to my home to talk to me and the services were all held at a different church- thank God- I hate funeral homes. But as I drove down this main road- there on the side was that name I’ve come to loathe- the name of the funeral director. I thought about how many times we must have driven down this road together…the Korean fried chicken place we liked just a bit further down, the string instrument shop nearby where you recently got your cello appraised.
I’m sure we never even noticed this funeral home was there.