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