June rains gave way to July stars. I didn't see them, but I knew they were there. What was it like, those first mornings without her? On June 18th, we went on the boat. I resisted; I thought I shouldn't leave the house, she might die while I'm gone, and then came the first time of thousands of time that I had to tell myself, "But she is already dead."
I didn't know when I started this that I would look back on these words to re-inhabit my life without my mother. I cry, sometimes, but the other day I smiled, I laughed at the thought of my little brother Michael showering her with kisses, as he told my mother how much nachas she brought.
A new year begins soon. I have a small package of golden sparklers in my bag, I will hold my husband's hand on the subway. My brothers are in the country. Michael is at Petey's cabin, Adam is in the northern solitude of Arizona, meeting his girlfriend's grandmother for the first time. When they come home, they will move into a loft in Red Hook - he wrote to me: Seriously there is no reason that we should be able to be in a place this awesome. I like to think that mom made it possible. I think she did. Petey is in our house - he says that being amongst couples is too hard. I understand. I feel the same way about being with families, or listening to the girls speak with careless luxury about their mothers in a way that makes me choked with desire.
It is almost a new year. My mother was alive in 2011, my mother was at our wedding. When 2012 arrives, I will not be able to call my night owl tonight, at the stroke of midnight, like I did every year. My mother will not be alive in 2012. I do not know what this year will bring. I do know I am taking my husband to Tulum, where I went with my mother a decade ago, and I will think of her as we lay amongst the ruins. I have no resolutions, but to be resolute.
I sat down at the kitchen table today, to start a book, the book I have been meaning to write. I have been waiting for my story to arrive. Turns out, I have been living my story. It might be a slim volume, but it will be filled with the only things I can give: love, memory, and honor. It will be for you, Blanche Susan Land Batnick. It will be a book for my mother.