I’m sitting at the window counter at Huckleberry’s in Spokane, rainy Easter morning. Yesterday I flew back from the East coast where I spent a few days visiting my family. Our mother is dying, not imminently but surely, progressively from the natural process of the body’s dissolution.
It is always a gift to be with my sister and her family, their busy, multi-generational lives. It’s a textured experience of love. Being with her now grown children, my 18 month old great niece. Aligned with the time spent watching my mother sleep, knowing that she is passing and that her passing will likely come while I am back at home in Washington.
At home. I moved here permanently almost two years ago after half a decade of seasonal visits. And it is so completely my home now. Just getting into my car at the Spokane airport last night, my body dropped into a deeper place of rest. Spokane is my airport of choice for flights East. It’s marginally closer than Seattle and more manageable. A few trips under my belt, it is its own kind of home with its various tree filled neighborhoods that belie their easy access to and from the Interstate. I know I will find a good meal and coffee and friendly, helpful people.
After a good night’s sleep, a bath, a pile of French toast and a triple shot latte to go, I can set my GPS for “Home,” and drive without heavy traffic or stop lights or towns, even, West to my Beloved, the dog, our home, familiarity.
In Jersey, church is finished, dinner is cooking, the branches of my birth-family tree come together to celebrate not just resurrection but the deeper, pre-Christian holiday of birth and fertility with bunnies and colored eggs and new clothes. Our mother sleeps, partly from pain management, partly from life’s exhausting regimen. The baby gets passed from one set of loving arms to another. The circle is complete: birth, life, death, birth. We all cycle through.
The sky’s clearing, sun burning through clouds. It’s time to get back on the road home.