Wednesday was the anniversary of my mum's death, a year ago.
I had thought that I wouldn't blog about it at all. I spent the day quietly doing this and that, thinking and feeling. Also not thinking or feeling.
It wasn't so much worse than some of the other days have been. There are all sorts of unsuspected triggers. Grief doesn't conform to rules or expectations.
I decided to mention it, after all, since emailing a couple of bloggers who had written messages of love, knowing the anniversary - and especially in the light of my USA visit. These are all connected.
My mother was a great letter writer. She sent long letters, little notes, cards, photos, gifts. It was a way of extending her love, care and hospitality far beyond her home. There were a lot of people around the world who loved her, many of them loved her like a mother. She was also trying to get the hang of texting, to keep in touch with her grandchildren.
She was becoming a keen emailer, before it became too uncomfortable to sit at the computer, though I don't think she'd ever have wanted to give up paper and pen.
Well into her illness, her priority for the mornings was to write - she responded to every card, letter, delivery of flowers as long as she was able to.
Given a few more years, she might have become a blogger. She had the instincts, but might have had too little time; she was always busy, active, involved, visiting, looking after guests. Writing.
I showed her my blog, after we knew about her cancer, as another way of sharing with her and she loved it - the chat and the commenting, the connections. She recognised the sense of community, the friendship. Family.
My trip to the USA was financed by money she gave me, before she died. The same was true for Betty, who was with me in NYC, whose mother died just a couple of weeks after mine. So, it was a kind of Mother-Memorial trip for each of us.
And she would have just loved to hear about my trip and about those of you I was able to meet face to face; about the welcome, hospitality and love I was given, about the sense of comfortable familiarity and acceptance I felt. It really hurts that I can't share that with her, it bloody hurts so much. But there is also a huge comfort in recognising the operations and realities of "family" and friendship so far from home and in knowing that she would have recognised it too. It was fitting.
So. I'm glad to have written this, after all, and to acknowledge the anniversary here where I received such a lot of support and comfort at the time.
Also, writing this has rather effectively cleared my sinuses.
Travel diaries of some kind should emerge before too long.