Memories of standing at the front door
I stood at the front doorway and watched as my visiting daughter backed her car out of the driveway, onto the road and headed up the highway.
Off she went, returning to her own life and away from mine.
I waved from my watch at the door, offering my little complimentary Queen Elizabeth courtesy wave, as I call it, minus the white gloves.
Anything for a laugh. I think she beeped-beeped approval.
My station at the front door gave me a deja vu kind of feeling, prompting memories of this very same scenario, just different characters.
The thought occurred to me of how many times I had pulled out of this very same driveway, onto that very same road and headed up the very same highway.
And my mother had watched me go.
Granted, my mother never gave me the Queen Elizabeth wave, but she always lingered a spell at the door, the little pause that was a kind of punctuation between a visit that had just ended and a return to normalcy for the both of us, mom at her home, me off to mine.
Funny how life goes in generational cycles.
And funny how the simple act of pulling out of a driveway can leave you with such a mixed bag of emotions — comforting to return to your roots, yes; a little sad to leave them again and acknowledge it’s a chapter of personal history; and yet somehow it’s an it’s-OK-now feeling to get out of here and get on with life — all wrapped into one odd squeezing of the heart.
A visit home with your mother can make things good again or right somehow even if all that ails you hasn’t been solved and you don’t necessarily begin to agree on everything.
It’s like a reboot or a good burp after an Alka Seltzer.
Sometimes when I back out of the driveway, waiting for my turn to get onto the highway, I glance over at the front door and the porch and I can imagine my mother standing there, kind of like a mother bird keeping watch over the baby on the rim of the nest, the baby just about to fall and take flight, like it or not, ready or not.
She’s rooting for me, I’m certain, but there’s only so much she can do.
I’m reminded, too, when I glance at the front porch of my mother’s final steps down it, the day we moved her from a home that she’d grown to love to a new environment for better care than what we could give her.
That was a hard thing to wrap our brains around, my mother moving somewhere else, never to return to this place again.
That’s major stuff that convinces me it’s not much fun being an adult and having to make adult decisions.
I remember as we left mom’s new home what mom’s words were to her first-born grandchild, now an adult, an attorney and a mother herself.
“It was good to meet you,” my mother told her, a sweet smile spreading across her face.
At the time, I lamented to a family friend checking up on me that I “felt like crap” that the physical and mental demands had combined for this solution, the very alternative so many of us promise, vow and swear will never, ever come to be.
And the family friend offered immediate reassurance that the right decision had been made, that it was best for everyone involved, including mom.
I know someday my mom will reaffirm that as well.
Until then, happy Mother’s Day.
And a Queen Elizabeth wave to you all.
(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)