As per my usual, I've been awake for hours and it's only 5 am. My mind has my body trapped in that place where the past meets a future that will never exist. It's a funny thing, the grieving mother's "memory". At first, all I could think about were those last hours. The sights, the smells, the sounds...post traumatic stress at its finest. Eventually, mixed with those gut gripping moments, came memories of happier times. But all of that somehow gets jumbled now with thoughts of a future that my forever baby can never have. It's as if time doesn't exist in the broken mother's memory, at least not time as we know it.
He's going to be 5 soon. Five sounds so much older than 4. That probably has something to do with the fact that a 5 year old is now a school-aged child. I've never seen my son at 5 years old. And I never will. I won't see him try to carry a backpack that's bigger than he is. I won't see him learn to tie his shoes or read his first sentence from a book. That doesn't make any sense, so I think my mind creates those moments for me. It's like a "memory" from a future that will never exist. Just as I get flashes of the past, I see moments that have never happened as if I'm remembering them in some bizarre, reverse order.
Today is Mother's Day. I'm not a fan of this particular day, but add it to the list of days I wish I could sleep through. I need one more macaroni and fingerprint portrait to make it complete, but it won't come. I need a dandelion bouquet full of ants thrust in my face from the pudgy hand of a preschooler. Maybe today, my broken mother's memory will flash to a time when that happens. Maybe for a split second, that curse/gift of life without time, will take me to a place where I don't have to question my status as a mother of four.
My stomach turns in knots as I write. My brain races forward and backward and forward again. It's a broken mother's memory. It bends the rules of time. In an odd way, I'm grateful for this broken memory of mine. It goes well with my broken heart, and my lungs that don't quite take in enough air. It reminds me of the journey I'm taking. It reminds me that I am a mother in two worlds.
If only macaroni art and fingerpaint handprints could be delivered to both...