Tim sent me a copy of a note that my mom sent him in April of 1999. It was a delight, full of humor, a haiku, and a newspaper clipping from the Island police blotter about someone they both knew, but didn’t care for, who fell into a septic tank while inspecting it! Enjoying this note, over and over (because it’s a blessing to dip into my mother’s intact self), gave me pause to realize some important dates the note revealed. It’s dated:

  •  Just over four months after I moved back to our region,
  • A mere five years and four months before dad and I started talking about mom’s state of mind, and
  • Five years and eight months before my father was diagnosed with cancer.

Grasping this timeline helps me realize how little ‘quiet time’ I had with my folks after returning here. 

After high school graduation at 18, like a week after, I returned 1000 miles south, to where mom, dad and I had moved from some years earlier, married, had kids, and forged my life. Yes, my folks, who still had deep connections to the area, visited regularly, especially mom, who still worked for the local university (talk about tel-commuting before the age of computers!). But they were visitors in my world, the world I chose for myself. I moved back north to the region where my folks lived, upon separating from my first husband. When my dad was diagnosed, I was very thankful that I lived close to my parents. Getting Tim’s note last week was, not an affirmation, as my reasons for returning north had little to do with my parents, but perhaps a greater acceptance of sorts, a stronger trust, that the universe, despite the whys, sends you where you need to be.

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