On my dresser I have one of my mother's first business cards. At Home Antiques and Interiors. The business address was our home at the time, a nineteenth century farmhouse outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The card features her sketch of window with shutters and iron hardware with a few bricks askew giving the impression of a house-front. This must have been before she moved her wares to a booth in a large antique warehouse called Kudzu. That building is enormous in my memory and smelled of old books, varnish, and filled with cool, wet air.
I hold this card as a clue. With it I try with some amount of desperation to unlock pieces of wisdom she might have shared with me today. We are all filled with such complexity that I don't claim to understand who she was fully, wholly. But once a person leaves us we have a fixed number of memories to work with, to replay, to comfort and torment us. As I revisit the moments I had with her, countless ones, I have to believe that I can continue to know and better understand her. And the memories become clearer. Scenes where she was once void I now can place her. Conversations that I didn't understand then, I do now. I know what you mean, mom. Just not then.
I don't know..
We went to New York City recently and part of me was excited to go and another part of me worried that it would be too painful to enjoy a city she loved and knew and a place she shared with me. But it wasn't that way. You have to be strong there and know your own mind and go your own way, and then the beast becomes friendly and magical.
I don't know..