Home, yesterday, after a Sunday night dinner with Colter and a Monday afternoon shopping-and-lunch combination with Susan. Home, the land of very large orange-and-white cats and a spouse that missed me. Home, with a pile of movies (and dust bunnies, and bills) waiting on me.
One week and it all changes. A week ago on Saturday my priority was to get home from Nashville so that I could tidy up the kitchen. A kitchen which, now, is filled with lilies; next to a living room which smells of lilies. Heather and Andy sent a set of impossibly large and glossy stargazer lilies. The kitchen, instead of being covered over with dishes and plates and cooking detritus, now has calla lilies taking up almost every available inch of counter space.
I drove fast last night, pushing the accelerator amidst the scent of flowers and singed oil to get home ahead of the rain, keeping a steadying hand on the trunk of the Japanese maple given to us by my father's siblings. They are beautiful trees, those red-leaved maples, but the tree barely fit in my car and required a bit of constant pressure to keep the froth of leaves out of my rearview mirror.
I expect that Sean will be back home around the time that the ground dries out a bit from the recent rains. When those things happen, we'll plant the tree in the front yard; I'll quietly call it Dad's tree. The tulips we received will be sunk into the front flowerbeds, to mingle with the existing tulips; I suppose they'll be his too.
The lilies I'll scatter around the house. The house needed greenery (this I'll admit) but oh, not under these circumstances.
My mother and I talked a lot on Sunday afternoon. I hugged her and told her that she'd always been both strong and stubborn—you had to be, in this family—but that now that Dad is gone, she would discover that she was capable of more than she ever realized.
As I return to the tedium of everyday life, I find myself hoping that the statement holds for me too.