Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my mom’s death. She is buried in a beautiful cemetery in Vermont. Surrounded by trees, her plot sits on a hill overlooking the river. I can’t imagine a more peaceful spot to rest.
We visited the grave at the end of our trip last week. We had just spent the week in the condo that my mom and dad had bought over 25 years ago. That place, more than anywhere else, is home for me. And all those memories, over all those years, include my mom. She is everywhere up there—in the secret corners of the closets, in the small wooden angel on the night stand, in the brook across the parking lot, in the black-eyed Susans that dot the hills, in the view from the top of the mountain, in the sound of the crickets and the strange birds that call to each other in the dark.
After feeling her around me for an entire week, visiting her grave felt like saying goodbye all over again. As we stood by the stone, Lettie said, “I wanna go grandma Peggy’s house, I wanna go Grandma Peggy’s house!” in the escalating way that only a two year old can pull off.
I then asked her if she wanted to tell Grandma Peggy she loved her. So she yelled, “I love you Grandma Peggy!” and looked around as if she was hoping that Grandma would somehow walk out of the trees and show herself.
She didn’t, of course. But maybe, just maybe, the sun shifted a little bit and the leaves lifted off their branches as if to say, Here, I am. Right here.