Thursday, December 21, 2006


After a long, dry autumn and early winter, it is finally snowing. Looking out my window, I see tire tracks through the snow in the alley across from my office, and coworkers are popping in to express their excitement about the weather. We live in the Upper Midwest, where we expect to have snow on the ground, and lots of it, by Winter Solstice.

This is the time of year that marks the fourth anniversary of my mother’s suicide, and I’ve been thinking about the people who have helped me during the years after her death, often in unanticipated and surprising ways. I’m a list maker, and today I’ve made a list of those people and the various things for which I'm grateful to them.

SJG, for loving me, for doing all the housework in the months immediately afterward, and for giving me space to mourn in my own way

My sister, for listening without judgment

My father, who found just the right poems

MFO, for her letters and knowing heart

ML, who pointed me to the right stories

Ann G, who trusts in my mother’s choice

Kay, Marion, and JZ, who understand what it’s like

Jon, who gave me his copy of Kaddish

Luci, who came into this world on the heels of my mother’s departure

And Finna, for her joy.

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