Homesick

When the person who is your heart's chosen home goes away, where does your heart go?

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Grief is messy. Anyone who doesn't know this should have caught my act the Saturday before Mother's Day. There I was on my sister's front lawn at 7:30 in the morning, sobbing and muttering and rooting through the Johnson grass for my daughter's other sock so we could run away.

It started with a sleepless night. It always seems to. This time last year, I was anticipating breakfast in bed for my first Mother's Day. Gil brought me scrambled eggs, a crisp newspaper, and a pile of presents: a cotton nightgown, a book of essays, and "Eloise in Paris" for Mona. I was fat with new motherhood, full of milk and brimming with love for the man who'd convinced me a house and family were not such bad things at all. Now I remained convinced, but where was he to say he told me so? He was dead, and I was miles away, a new widow in my old hometown, dislocated, confused, and crying in the middle of the night. At about 5, I fell into a light doze.

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Lisa Schamess
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