Mom has been gone nearly a month now, visiting Sharon in Chicago. While it's wonderful having a break, it's a two-edged sword. I also miss her very much.

I wish I could find more ways to stimulate conversation with Mom when she's here. I've felt at times as though I'm missing precious opportunities to connect with her, either not knowing what to say, or being distracted during our times together. It's frustrating, not knowing how to talk to someone you love so much.

Mom's very quiet compared to the way she used to be. There are moments when she comes alive, but overall, definitely more quiet. It's like she's drawing within more, and we are being left behind. I imagine a whole world of memories inside her that she floats along day and night, whether in sleep or lost in thought. Train whistles immediately cause her pain, reminding her of Dad. Like Job, she continues to have a struggle with God about his wisdom in taking Dad but not her.

There's a side to Mom I've seen more of, though...it's her ability to have fun, to laugh...I saw some of it growing up, but I was a kid then, and she was busy being a mother and wife. Now, while still being mother and daughter, we are also women, hanging out together. The dynamics have changed. Time pushes us sometimes very reluctantly forward, into the mystery of the future. We laugh together at it...