My parents' cabin isn't quite completed.
There are still small repairs to be tended to and some decorating to be done.
While we were there this weekend, over and over, I heard us attempting to make sure we kept the cabin just as my mom had planned it. When looking for a place to put away folded blankets, my sister asked my dad where he wanted them. He thought about it and finally said, "I think your mom wanted them in the closet upstairs."
I wonder if my mom really cares. Probably not, but we do.
While placing framed pictures around the rooms, one of us started to rearrange some decorations, and stopped when we all protested, "No, Mom wanted it like that, with that picture right there."
Would she really care? No, but we do.
The first time I stayed at the cabin after my mom died, I walked upstairs where my parents' bedroom is. I was looking for some warm clothes (I am never prepared for the weather) and I opened the door to their closet. Inside, waiting on the shelf, was a neatly folded pair of my mom's pajamas.
I recognized the pastel plaid print.
Next to them was a pair of heavy winter slippers. I am sure she had left them just like that for the next time she came to the mountains.
When I saw them there months ago, I remember thinking, "We will need to clean out this closet."
The rawness of her absence didn't allow me to do it then.
And...the comfort and solace it brings me won't allow me to do it now.
Each time I visit the cabin, I wait until all of the excitement of our arrival settles. When it is quiet I walk up the stairs and into their bedroom closet.
Her clothes are still there. Her presence remains.
It is funny. Very soon after my mom's death, my sister and I cleared out our parents' house of her things. We got rid of her clothes, jewelry, shoes, and only kept a few sentimental things for ourselves.
It was healing for us.
Still, however, I have a hard time being in their house.
Maybe it was because she was sick there... I walk in and can still see her asleep on her portable hospital bed in the front room.
Maybe it is because I can see my mom and I sitting on her bed together with a pen and pad of paper planning her funeral.
Maybe it is because I remember standing in the kitchen, talking with the hospice nurse about who to call when she passes away.
There are so many sad memories for me there.
There are no sad memories at the cabin,
...and her pastel plaid pajamas!