I got this in an email this morning. The picture was taken on December 25th, 1983 in Cali. It was the Christmas I talked about in this post, when I went home for just 5 days in the middle of my chaplaincy internship. When I looked at the picture, I was struck by my mom: how vivid and clearly her personality came through. She was younger in that picture than I am today and that just blew me away. It’s a great picture of my brothers—they were both so elegant and graceful. My dad’s expression is weird—very much not him. And then, there’s me. Wearing a dress I had very proudly sewed myself—I had very little money that year and was trying hard to be more financially independent. Still so uncomfortable in my own skin, trying so hard simply to be a good girl and be liked. I had almost erased myself in the process. I didn’t dwell long on the email, too much else to take care of today.
Tonight, I got to go out and walk after several days not being able to. My mind slowly settled into the rhythm of my rambles and then, the flashbacks were back. And the grief. At first, I thought it was the picture. Then I figured out the date. November 5th. One year and five months ago today, my mother died. No wonder. The body knows.