After work today, I drove my mom and Jess to Arkansas to visit mom’s friends from for-always and to visit my father’s grave.
It was my first time to drive back through here since my father died, by myself without my brother.
I was cranky about the trip last night, and anxious about being able to get all my work done before we left, and I think underneath it all, that was what it was really making me sad.
It was a quiet drive, with Jess taking a nap and mom resting before all the fun.
I was glad they were with me, and glad I was with them. This is how it should be, a family together.
There was plenty of time for thinking, pondering, and reflecting over the miracles of the last few years.
In a few weeks, it will be two years since my first cochlear implant. I almost can’t believe it. It seems like forever, and it seems like yesterday, all at once. I have my writings and notes that tell me of my experiences and who took care of me, but I have very little memory of it. The people that cared for me are like a dream, and I am shy of them when I see them in real life. But I do love the sounds I have heard, most of them, and I am grateful for new ways to communicate. I appreciate my independence, though I am always grateful for the relief that comes when an interpreter’s hands fly.
Today, when my mom is getting her hair made up all fancy, I ask the lady to scrub my head, to rub it and scrub it, in a most intimate way – not a sensual intimate, but a knowing intimate. My scars are big and long, and my skull still aches there, and my scalp wants relief. She is kind, and I tell her so.
I cry, on accident, the kind of tear we shed when another soul touches our scars.
There is also the miracle of the house, and how it has provided for us, from shelter to food storage to me having the opportunity to care for mom after her spine surgery… and the miracles of her healing beyond medical expectations. These are gifts of orchestration greater than ourselves, and they are only now beginning to bloom.
There is the miracle of these very roads, which I drove again and again those final months of my father’s life, and the miracle of the atonement that paved the way.
There is the miracle of my brother falling in love with my best friend from high school, and the priesthood being restored to my family, and him being sealed in the temple to her, and their children being gathered also. They delight me and amuse me, and I love them, and have learned far more from them than I ever knew I would.
I think of all the miracles, my family is my favorite one.
As it turns out, my family is the best part of my life.
Tonight my mom’s friend since second grade did her hair and scrubbed my head while Jess played with the woman’s grandchildren in the backyard. It is a perfect memory she will always have, a memory like I have of my own grandmother.
This is the miracle of family, of mothers and daughters, of the restoration of things as they should be, of the orchestrating of things as they we created to be.
It makes me happy.
When mom’s hair is done, we will go to dinner for girl’s night, and talk and laugh and play.
It is a break from work (which begins again early tomorrow), and a quick trip away from home, and a reunion of loved ones, and a celebration of all ages and the experiences we have had along the way. This is where wisdom is born, where knowledge is passed from mother to daughter to grand-daughter. This is when roots are planted, heirlooms of the heart are sewn, and happiness begins to sprout.
They tease me about my boyfriend, and his upcoming visit, and how exciting it is that he will be here again soon. I won’t talk about it much yet, because it is his story and my story, and because some things are worth doing well. And also because it makes me smile, and I lose my words.
When dinner is finished, we will visit my father again.
The timing seems right before this boy comes here.
I have things to tell my father, and to ask him.
But first we are going for Mexican food.
Because it’s Girls’ Night and way past time for chips.