Today is Mimi’s birthday, and for the first time in years I did not stand in front of the birthday rack in the greeting-card aisle this week, picking out a card to send her. It also felt strange, last month, opening my own birthday cards from friends and parents and my maternal grandparents, and not seeing an envelope postmarked southwestern Missouri, with her spidery blue handwriting spelling out my name and address.
I live a long way from that quiet farm where she spent more than half a century, and so her loss does not come home to me daily or weekly, the way it must do to my uncles and aunts and cousins who live nearby. But I think of her when I have lunch with Corri, whose grandmother was Mimi’s sister, and when I see the heirloom books from Neosho on the bookshelves in my dining room. I think of her when I tell J the stories about my Noah heritage, and when it rains, because she loved rainy days.
She is somewhere I’ve never been yet, at peace and full of joy. She is with my Papaw, who died 12 years before she did, and this knowledge brings me peace, though I can’t explain it. But I miss her, and I wish I could call her up today, and hear her voice in the old farm kitchen, and fill her in on my life in Boston. She never came to visit us here, but she was thrilled that we are having this adventure. She loved antiques and teacups, history and old stories, and in a letter last year, she wrote, “Boston sounds like my kind of town.”
I’m not expecting to see her again for a while, but I will collect some adventures to share with her when I do. And meanwhile, I’ll remember, and call my dad so we can remember together.