on the ninth year after my mother’s death

I had to think about how long it’s been. Actually, I had to look at the chart I have of family birthdays to remember exactly how old the grandson is who was born right before my mother’s death.

Accchhhh! I just checked to see what I had written about my mother before and wouldn’t you know? Three years ago, I started a post with almost exactly the same words, except then I knew exactly how old my grandson was…

And also here, when he was 7…

And this is what I wrote last year, what I learned, unaware of what I would need to learn this year.

Nine years is a very short time to be alive.

Nine years is a very long time to be gone.

I was not as close with my mother as my sister was. They spent more time together after I had already left the house and gone onto all my solo adventures. I have a completely separate set of memories of my mother than my sister did. You would think that I would be happy that they had a very good and strong relationship and you would be correct. But I guess it is a wistful happiness.

There are so many things that we think we would want and there are so many that we don’t even approach knowing we should.

Last week, D#1 and I walked a bit through Central Park before meeting a cousin for lunch on the West Side. A very attentive volunteer asked us if we needed help knowing where we were, and she was standing right by a map. As she said, “You are right by Strawberry Fields,” I realized that I had heard someone humming the song just a moment before, but it hadn’t reached my consciousness what exactly it was.

“Oh, of course!” was my reply, leaving my daughter confused.

She was not aware of the song, the legacy, the story, not being of that generation. I had to look it up to find out some more.

This tranquil section of Central Park was named after one of Lennon’s favorite songs, “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Recorded in 1966, the song’s title comes from an orphanage in Liverpool, England where Lennon used to go to play with the children. His aunt, who raised him, disapproved but he insisted it was, “nothing to get hung about.” Hence, the song’s famous lyric.

That seems appropriate for today.

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