I’ve been composing this blog post in my head for so long and now that I’m here, typing, my mind is completely blank. I suppose I’ll simply tell you what I’ve been up to so far on my maternity leave:
1. I had a baby.
2. I took my family to Japan.
3. I lost my mother.
All three things happened in such quick succession that I have yet to catch my breath. Sometimes, I have to remember to breathe. Sometimes, like tonight, I cradle my baby girl as she conducts her ritual evening celebrity temper tantrum and I hear my mother telling me how precisely to calm the little bugger down, and I remember my mother is gone, and it knocks my breath away.
I’m not ready yet to analyze my loss in a blog-appropriate way: with quips and funny quotes and clever observations. I can’t yet describe to you the mornings I lay my baby Kana on the sofa in her hospice room and fed my mother an increasingly liquid and sparse breakfast (but always of only the best quality: her last meal, I think, was a juice my brother pressed by hand of the finest white peaches from her hometown in southern Japan). I can’t yet find deep meaning in my mother’s final words to me, or mine to her. I can’t sketch for you the weirdness of planning a big funeral and picking up my mother’s cremated remains with chopsticks. It is still too raw.
But I did want to tell you, friends, that my mother died last week, because so many of you have inquired after me and my family during my absence from this space. So thanks for indulging me by letting me broadcast private news in a public space. I miss WiP horribly and I hope to be back soon.