I called my step-dad yesterday. He took care of my mother for 24 years, so he has my respect. But she is gone now. I looked at the calendar and realized she died 6 weeks ago. Feels like just yesterday that he called me at 4:10 in the morning and said, “Your mother just passed ten minutes ago.”
He grew up in Montana, in Kalispell. My mother loved visiting there. And every time I think of Kalispell, I think of the Missoula Floods, and how the ice dam broke 20,000 years ago, releasing the gigantic lake that sat on what is now Missoula, Montana. That river–some say the largest river in the history of the world–flooded most of Eastern Washington and Western Oregon. I live in the valley that used to be under hundreds of feet of water.
I think my mother’s passing was like the ice dam breaking. I think you have to let life flood over you sometimes, and see how the landscape changes. We get into ruts, always taking the same path, digging canals deeper into the ground. If you dig deep enough, you lose site of the terrain, the people around you.
The water’s getting deep. It’s time to build a boat. It’s time to see where the river flows to.