On Thursday, when my good friend dropped me at my car by my dad's house, after post-work cocktails and an art opening at Zhou B's, I noticed a familiar-looking woman getting out of the car we pulled up next to. When the woman's and my eyes met, I realized it was none other than my very own mother! She had driven from Tampa with her sister, my aunt, all day long and had just arrived to stay at my dad's house. Although I had just spoken to her and she said the words, 'I'm home', I still didn't expect to see her that very night. I figured our ships would cross and I would make a point to see her the next day.
I squealed and jumped out the car to give her a hug. You see, my mom and I are close. Before she moved to the Netherlands and then subsequently to Tampa, FL after retiring, she was my ace. We did so much together. My free days were her free days. We would call each other at the crack of dawn and see what we were going to do that day. Whether it was the flea market, grocery store, visit family, a festival, movie or breakfast, it was usually done together before noon (we like to get out early). When my mom announced she would be moving, I was excited for her, but dreaded the idea that she would be gone. Who would be my independent movie buddy? Who would I lay around and watch 10 straight hours of The First 48 with? Who would I drive to the North Side with to do...anything? Quiet as kept, I was freaking out. So I began filling my days with activities. I stepped outside of my normal familial shell and started hanging out with new, and some old, friends. I discovered that my mother and I were not the only ones who enjoyed independent films, art, books, travel, plays or the opera. I just had never given anyone else the chance. The next thing I know, I was actually busy. Sometimes too busy to even talk to my mom. But when we did talk, usually at least 4-5 times per week, we kept each other posted on everything going on in our individual lives. We talk so much, I really don't feel like we've missed a beat, just time. That is what I cannot wait to regain with my mother, time.
My goal now is to figure out how to reincorporate her into my daily life (that's easy), and still weave my friends, who have been great substitutes, around our time (a little more challenging). It will work itself out though; I am sure of it. Just like it did when she left. I feel good about this. My mom is home.