The Long Way Home


In Like a Lion
March 1, 2011, 6:45 AM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , ,

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Some days will be better than others since my mother’s been gone. I know this intellectually, but feeling through it is another story. This past Saturday I felt close to my old self, rummaging through an estate sale  where we found some Greek icons and a box of magic tricks that Jeff once had as a kid. The house was insane. From the front, it looked like a typical suburban ranch, but inside was a maze of 18 rooms filled with shag carpet, mirrored wallpaper, palinka bottles and flickering electric candles.  It was a prelude to round two of organizing my mother’s own estate on Sunday. I don’t know what makes any of us think that we’re going to go for a few weekends and be done with it, but it’s just one more way the brain battles with the heart, tricking you into hurrying through your grief instead of facing it.

I took the photos in this post in January when Jeff and I had our annual first date. I was going to write about the secret pockets of the museum, how I love the building almost more than the exhibits it holds. It reminds me of Friday library nights with my mother, where every three weeks she’d take my sister and me to Oakland so we could borrow books.  I loved reading in the stacks in the winter evenings, inhaling library scent as I flipped through The Three Investigators or From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. So this post is about a good memory of my mother. About the childhood want to live in a museum, or losing myself in fiction when I don’t want to deal with reality. It’s about how the world moves around my family and me as we are left grieving together, and most days, alone.

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Fifth First Date
January 26, 2011, 6:44 AM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , ,

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Five years ago, Jeff and I had our first date at the Carnegie Museum. I wasn’t even sure it was a date until he pulled out his wallet and paid my admission (past dating experiences made me skeptical). He had wavy hair down to his shoulders, a tiny hole in the neck of his sweater and a delicate chip in his front tooth. I thought he was adorable. Later,  he told me I had pretty dimples and found my potty-mouth unexpected, but adorable. We both found the birds with the stuffing falling out of their eyes in taxidermy hall creepy, but amazing. Love blossomed hours later over noodle bowls at Lulu’s. And we’ve gone on this first date every January since.

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