001. precious moment

Letters to Mam

Mam,

It’s snowing today in north Texas. Projections suggest we may get eight inches overnight.

The last time it stormed like this, I was staying with you amidst ongoing tensions with a college roommate. You were due for a trip to visit your then-fiance, now-widower in his homeland of Norway, which was somehow experiencing milder weather.

The streets of your small hometown were coated in inches of snow and ice, and the traffic lights didn’t acknowledge us as we wove delicately along tire tracks made by large trucks to your parents’ home, where your father waited to drive you to the airport more than an hour away.

Somehow you made it there, and he made it back, safely. The photos you sent over Skype from Frederikstad showed you and my future stepdad cozy and thriving; I pored over them from my grandparents’ couch, which I hardly left in the days we were iced into the house.

It’s been ten years since that storm, and so much has changed. But you’d expect that, wouldn’t you? A decade begs for growth and development, for expansion and depth.

I’ve married, accepted I was a lesbian, and am now going through a divorce.

You married, celebrated that marriage in Norway, got your PhD, grew a tumour in your belly the size of a large fetus, and eventually decided enough was enough, submitting to hospice and the long quiet after on your terms.

It’s been three weeks since you left, and today, as I lay in my apartment, blue fairy lights surrounding my bed, my cat-child on my lap, snow piling against my door – I wonder if I had known then when I know now, if I might have asked you to slow down as we raced toward your parents’ house that night. Take a moment to let the snow melt into our hair, the thick fabric of our coats. To roll the windows down and inhale that special scent that only exists when snow sticks to the earth.

If I would have asked you to spend just one more precious moment with me.

Love,
A