Dear Mom,

It’s my first Mother’s Day without you. Last year this day you were in the hospital. Related to that I still hate that you’re dead. I was going to write last month on your birthday but I couldn’t.

The firsts are hard– first Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday… The first few months I pretended you were in Hawaii. I don’t know why Hawaii but I do know you liked the Obama family photo vacations from there.

I don’t watch Midsomer Murders anymore. Who else is going to be both engrossed and happy to make fun of the murder rate in Midsomer County? We cheered Chief Inspector Barnaby’s Oprah A-ha! moments in every episode.

I didn’t think I could watch Grace and Frankie but I did. You would have loved it. (SPOILER ALERT!) When Frankie decides to stay with Grace it reminded me of you leaving your beloved Wisconsin to come be with us. You needed to be with family. You needed help. You needed Thorin. At 80 years you moved to Maine. Thank goodness! Dad must have thought: “You’re one tough monkey, Big Red!” Even though you weren’t big anymore or red-haired. I loved your hair by the way. I know you didn’t until the end of your life. Your Judy Dench haircut was the envy of the salon. You were beautiful. I wished you had known that.

a Bubba

Thorin made an altar for you. He put your salt substitute in it. He made designs in the altarsalt with a small spoon in the mornings before breakfast. It all seemed very Day of the Dead. How did he know to do that? I’m sure you weren’t surprised.

Thorin and I talk about you everyday.

For awhile we thought you were talking to us through his Hess truck out in the yard. The truck would start up– lights flashing and honking. The neighbors must have laughed when they saw us holding the truck and talking to you:)

My book came out. You are the wise crone or maybe better, the bad-ass Bubba of the story. You only got to read three chapters. It was fun coming home from writing and have you review everything. It was lonely finishing the book without you. I know you were there though. Your phone– without service and power would BING whenever I went on an extended break. That was you, right? If I went to the bathroom– no bing. But if I turned on the TV to watch a old Dick Van Dyke Show— BING! BING! BING! I would run back to the computer! Remember after Dad died and the digital watches he bought us all would be binging? Maybe you got the idea from him. Whatever it worked– I finished the book!

After you died the sunflowers Ward planted for you grew big and freakishly tall. Finches visited in droves. I wished we could have sat on the back porch and watched together. Ward just got the porch in order for this summer. Bittersweet.

a sunflower

photo by Thorin

Bess and I changed up Not Always Happy the performance piece. I don’t stand at at podium anymore. In fact I got to sit in May Sarton’s chair for the last performance! Ward sat on Sarah Orne Jewett couch! You would have loved it. I held the pray shawl you made for me.

I watched Bosch alone. Titus Welliver is a perfect Harry Bosch but I think even you would agree this season he is a real menace to everyone around him– particularly Jerry Edgar. He’s a real busy body, too! Billets will never become Captain deferring to him all the time. Grace for fucksake grow a pair!

I got over a hurtle today. I finally wrote you. Maybe I can start to go through the stack of boxes hidden all over the house. I know I’m stuck and unstuck.

If you can –give me a sign you read the book. Happy Mother’s Day from here! xo, K

P.s.– I will write again:)