I walked up the basement stairs about 830am and could feel the chill in the air already. I opened the basement door and came face to face with a touque wearing, flurescent vested, glove wearing man.
” Can I use the washroom? Where abouts is it?”
In 4 seconds or less I see everything. The doors are open and there are 3 other men moving around and I see the big white truck out the kitchen window with a ramp up to it and items, and lamps and mattress and desk and I think inside ‘ she’s not actually.. is this what this actually is??’ and then Aunt Dawn comes down the stairs with her arms full of bags and I ask ” Is she moving out?”
With grim expression and a slight smirk, she nods her head- out the door she goes.
There are 4, 5, 6, movers, all moving fast and the world is blurry for an instant. I stand there cemented to the spot. I don’t know what to do and I see police car, one, two and I know I do not want to see Mom but she’s there before I can move and next thing i know i am doing what i dont want to do and moving towards her and i hug her and say the least thing i want to say to her. ” yay, you’re finally doing it!’
then i walk downstairs then i walk back up and i go up more stairs and i am crying and i open my brothers door and i sit on his bed and i say ‘ josh ‘ and he turns over slowly and sees my face and is alert and there is panic in his eyes and i say ‘ moms moving out ‘ and we sit in stunned silence and then we talk and then we look out the window and then we sit some more and then we go back down together and zeek all this time is watching stuff on my computer and doesn’t know anything that’s going on .
and josh calls our sister and she didn’t know . josh calls our brother later on and he didn’t know
and dad is in chatham and he
i feel wrong being here.
then there are more cars and aunt ruth and uncle john are there and he asks me ‘ hows it goin’ and i say drly’ perfect’ he says oh right, dumb question’. and they hug me and i am stiff and my eyes wet and they just keep being wet and i am standing there beside them and i dont want to be and they say they have nothing against my dad and that john, ‘ i’d like to go golfing with him this summer’ and i’m saying inside my head, ‘ya the fuck right’. i am mad mad mad mad mad and feel out of place.
Then I am downstairs and the movers are there now too and ask ‘ are we just taking the tv?’
My blank stare is enough answer.
I know this is the best thing to do. For Mom to leave.
But I am still angry.
I am mad that she chose to do it this way. To have it planned for at least a month. To get her own place. To know she was spending her last days here. And us not have a clue.
I am angry that all those trips into town were ones for lawyers. she never ever told us she was leaving even those times.
I am mad she didn’t say goodbye, but i know that was easier for her to do.
I hate that she said ‘ you can visit, theres a suite you can stay in for 3,4 days for free’.
‘im sorry mom, ‘ i think to myself ‘ i have not fricken processed this in the slighest.
The place she will have gotten will be very nice. It won’t be dumpy. And Josh and I sit dumbfounded, and he asks me about the affair because in Moms email to him, she mentions it assuming he already knew. He didn’t. But I say nothing about it and say , ‘ask dad,he’ll tell’.
Then, all of a sudden, a crashing silence falls on our heads and we stand up and we say, ” Are they gone already??”
and upstairs we go and there is no trace that they were even here, save for the spaces of things that were there and are now gone.
we move to her room and it is empty empty empty and we stand in it for a few minutes and we lean against the windows and i watch the birds at the feeder.
we wait for dad to come home and he comes home and he stops in the driveway in his white jeep and he backs up and we watch him do this and then he pulls forward and we know he has seen the marks on the grass and josh and i put our coats on and shoes and walk out to the garage and he shuts the jeep door and he follows us in and josh says’ we have some bad news…..pause… ‘ mom left’
“oh really. that doesn’t surprise me too much’ he says and his eyes are full of question and josh begins retelling the hour and a half.
and i recall people taking pictures and writing down items in the garage and in the kitchen and dad said ‘when he saw us walking out he figured somethign was up’ and when george and him left early for chatham earlier that day they had to turn around because they forgot something and mom alreayd had her car trunk open and her bedding inside because she thought they would be gone but they came back and he saw that and thought’ either shes gettign it dry cleaned or moving out?” and she had this all planned. calculated down to the last plate she was going to take. she knew everythin she was entitled to and she had it all configured in her brain about how much stuff she needed for her new place. three stools? yes, they’ll fit quite nicely. a couch? tv? oh i need a coffee machine, yes i’ll take that one. and this good chinaware too!
dont ask me how ballistic my uncle george ( who is living with us too ) will get now without his 5 hour daily tv watch. to be honest i think that was kinda a mean one taking that . it’s not like she can’t afford another one? but we’ll get another one and a nicer one and we will change the whole basement around too. this is more my house now. I’m the woman in it.
we shall change the locks on the house.
and dad is not to know where mother now resides.
I do feel lighter.
I do feel the air is thinner, there is less tension and Zeek finally feels more like mine again.
She will be happier, and we will be happier too. Everyone will. In time.
We will fill in the blank spaces of the house, we will take out all the knick knacks she had and it will be like she was never here. Starting over.
She is still my Mother and I suspect there will be good change in our relationship because of the distance but for now I will stay angry and sad and feel pity for my Father.
For after 36 years of marriage,
his wife has left him.