Kicking Oma out of the house
SATURDAY, December 19 – I just asked my mother to leave the house. It had absolutely nothing to do with her, well-intentioned as she is, but I could not abide her presence in the house for one more minute.
It would have been the same with anyone else. She arrived yesterday and wanted to stay for an extra night. Suddenly, something snapped in me. Four people in my house and none of them Jennifer. Impossible.
It was horrible to have to tell her that it would be better if she left, but in the end it was better. For all of us. I’d come close to saying things that I would regret later on. She phoned to say she was home, as she always did and I let the phone go to voice mail.
15:00 – We’re in the park and I see Eamonn racing in our direction. Then suddenly he skids on the frozen ground and hits the back of his head. For an instant we stand there, petrified. The back of his head. Then he gets up, pulls a face, and says, ‘Don’t worry. I’m okay. And I still have my sense of humor.’
22:30 – That same conversation again with Sander. About death, about not knowing, about the explanations we search for and can’t find. It’s wearing, the interminable repetition of useless information, but I don’t lose my patience. Then there’s a pause. Sander is about to tell me something.
‘You know what, Papa? Last night when everyone was asleep, even the dog and the cat, I woke up and saw this blue light floating through the hall. It went straight into Eamonn’s room. I saw it, and then suddenly it was gone.’
I don’t say anything, waiting for more. Sander: ‘I think it was Mom.’
He admits that he was a bit scared. I tell him that it’s ‘a very special experience’. And that he should try to treasure such moments, even though we don’t know what it was or what it meant.
I’m reminded of something Jennifer told me. How once, in the middle of the night, she woke up and saw my father appear in a corner of the bedroom. How he looked at us, and kept looking, and that he saw that it was good. Later on, when Jenn told my sister-in-law L about it, she was ecstatic. L had had the very same experience years before.
As far as I’m concerned, Jennifer is more than welcome to come by and take a look at her boys. In whatever way and in whatever form she chooses.