At the end of February, I was feeling  spring-like symptoms: a little more energy, a much greater sense of enthusiasm and purpose, increased optimism. Then I heard about my mom, and, like a recalcitrant groundhog, I re-entered hibernation. Sure, I did what I had to do, but not much more. The air was out of my metaphorical tires.

My relationship with my mother can best be described as “fraught” and would require a book to examine, rather than a blog post.  I won’t be talking about it much here, except for an occasional positive memory or appreciation.

The death of a relative can of course affect relationships with other family members. Bonds can be strengthened or severed. In my case, the tenuous connection I had with my birth family has apparently unravelled. I’ve spent the last 10 days or so feeling disoriented and disconnected, and worse, impotent.

My husband and I have talked and talked. (I am so grateful to have him, and The Kid, who really got me through the first, worst, night.) I keep coming back to something he said almost in passing: “We were so much happier on Monday,” referring to the day before I got the call. And we were. I am going back there.

I cannot do anything about losing my mother, or the behavior of the rest of my family. I can appreciate my happy memories. I can also appreciate what I had on that Monday and what I still have: a family of my own, a home, and amazing friends.

I also have a job to find, projects to finish (oh, the projects!) and things to look forward to- brunch with friends today, big-time college basketball this weekend (you will be hearing about that soon, at greater length than you might wish) and a concert with The Kid next week.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and life will go on whether I choose to participate or not. I choose to participate.