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Amanda Lamb: Closure

Posted September 9, 2012

As I went for my Sunday morning run, I imagined what might be waiting for me when I returned to my mother's house. Would I be greeted by the smell of hot coffee, or maybe an omelet and some fresh biscuits? Truth be told, my mother hated cooking, but breakfast was her thing, and so was taking care of her family. She always made me breakfast when I visited.

But this wasn't what greeted me. Instead, the house was quiet. Furniture ready to be moved was strewn haphazardly throughout the living room. Packing tape, bags and boxes lined the counters in the kitchen. There was no coffee, in fact, no food at all in the kitchen. The refrigerator was bare except for a few drinks and a lone takeout container.

The reason? Madeline doesn't live here anymore. I have slowly been dismantling her house, her life, one small piece at a time. Each day. it becomes less and less her house as drawers and closets are now empty and the walls stand bare. I close my eyes and try to remember festive Christmas celebrations in between these walls. I picture my children crawling up the steps. I recall visits home from college and in my 20s when I was so happy to have a warm bed, a place to do laundry and a hot breakfast waiting for me.

I remember my teenager self, full of angst, lounging on the couch watching television and ignoring my mother.

But in a few days I will lock the door forever and another family will begin the process of making their own memories within these walls. Never one good with major transitions, I am preparing myself for this moment. While I know that my mother is not here in this house, it is still very difficult to say goodbye to 30 years of memories.

I have packed many boxes with special pieces of my mother's life that will continue to remind me of her. I will unpack them slowly when I get home, savoring the moment, taking in the significance of each item. Hopefully, when it is all done, I can wear one of her rings, look at one of her paintings or light one of her candles and it will always remind me of her. That's how she will continue to live on in our lives with constant daily reminders like these.

For now, the physical place is still my touchstone to my mother. The last place that I can find her, even amongst the boxes and packing tape. But when I close that door for the last time and get in my car to drive back to North Carolina, I only hope that she will come with me ...

Amanda is a mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.

15 Comments

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  • Nicsnanni Sep 11, 2012

    yes, thank you for sharing.

  • pisgah2005 Sep 11, 2012

    Thank you Amanda, for putting your feelings into such eloquent words, and sharing them with us. I lost my dear Dad last year, and I miss him so much. My Mom's life has changed so much since his death, and going to visit her in the house that they shared is so different now...I wish you peace in the days ahead.

  • this is my Screen Name Sep 11, 2012

    Beautifully written.... it is hard to have to move on from the tangible place that your mother made into a home for your family. You can still touch the things that were in her house, but the best part is she is still there touching your heart and memories.

  • ziggychick Sep 10, 2012

    Bless you Amanda, I just lost my Mama too.

  • tayled Sep 10, 2012

    I went through this same thing several years ago. It was hard, because we lost both my mom and dad at nearly the same time. So many decisions had to be made and they all came at us rapid fire. I wish things had gone smoother, but we often do not get that choice and we do what we can and try to move on, but it is just about the hardest thing ever. Our prayers are with you Amanda!

  • theharps2 Sep 10, 2012

    Amanda i know it is hard you will never get over it you learn to get through it believe me i know been there done that god bless you prayers are with you !!!!!

  • annetterice Sep 10, 2012

    i know she will come with you , mine did ,,,

  • 1nclady Sep 10, 2012

    I know the painful process you're going through. My mom died 3 years ago and even cleaning out her refrigerator was hard. While I still miss her and there are times that are especially hard, as each day passes I smile and laugh more when thinking of her then cry. I wish that for you.

  • NCgirllovescats Sep 10, 2012

    Thank you for the reminder to appreciate our loved ones while they are around and to remember who and what is truly important in our lives. My heart is with you!

  • limitguvment Sep 10, 2012

    Maybe your children will one day think as much of you when you are gone as you did your mother. The circle of life complete and a job well done!

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