We got the kids’ school pictures yesterday. We send them to the grandparents every year for Christmas: four different addresses. Our mothers, our fathers. My wife shook the pictures out of the envelope, showed them to me: N’s goofy grin, Z’s untamable hair. Three sets of photos. Three sets, not four.

My mother’s death did not leave a gaping hole in our lives. She wasn’t woven into the fabric of my everyday. Instead, my mother’s absence is a series of tiny voids: eyelet lace. One less person to tag on the photo of the kids’ Halloween costumes. One less phone call on Thanksgiving. I decorated our house this weekend with the garlands and lights and red velvet bows that she brought me for the first Christmas after N was born. I snapped a picture on my phone, and didn’t know who to send it to.

20 thoughts on “Lace

  1. d3athlily says:

    For years, when I was talking to my husband about calling my mom, I added “and Daddy,” because it was so deeply part of the ritual of calling them with milestones. And every time, he’d look at me sideways, “Dad?” and it would open the wound all over again. This is exactly that. You said it beautifully. My deepest sympathies for your loss. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sara says:

    So true.Our parents are so embedded in our thoughts, actions and prayers that there is no big crater that they leave behind, its small holes everywhere like an eyelet lace.Beautiful metaphor.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. iasoupmama says:

    First of all, love, this completely describes the complicated grief felt when hitting milestones. Nothing is the same, but it’s not so different that it is unrecognizable.

    My only suggestion is that I think your last sentence could have stood alone as a paragraph — I think that would strike a really resonant final chord.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shilpa Gupte says:

    I liked how, in just a few words, you expressed the emotions you go through everyday from the loss of a loved one. No details on how it happened, and how you are coping with it, but just a quiet acceptance of life as it is!

    Liked by 1 person

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