I have tried to not think too much about my mother mostly because I have a difficult time remembering her without feeling sad. Although when I'm in the States, I think about her much more often. Memories of her are all around me because I usually stay at my sister's house, which is close to where we were brought up. I ended up driving past our house in Sunnyvale, my high school, and our sandwich shop where we used to work when we were growing up.
Five years have gone by since she has passed and in that time I haven't been back to the cemetery where her ashes now reside. I went once on her birthday in August 2001 and since then, I have not returned.
My sister lives only a few miles from the cemetery, but I have not had any desire to go there. I know that she and my brother both go once in a while, but I haven't been able to bring myself to going there. Before I came back to the States this year, I made a concerted effort to mentally prepare myself to go to the cemetery. I felt that I must finally be ready because I had finally thought of going back.
Last night, I had begun to plan how it would happen. I would pick up flowers in the morning and drive there alone. I know roughly where her tombstone is and I imagined myself driving up and walking on the grass around the other tombstones to arrive in front of it. I thought about how stoic I would be once I arrived in front of her tombstone and yet the tears stagger down my face at the thought of even going to the cemetery.
I had initially wanted to go on my birthday as I felt that it would be quite significant, but I wasn't able to do that as I had to go to the dentist instead up in Rocklin. I ended up going today on our last day in the US.
I arranged the flowers a few times and poured water on her tombstone to clean the dirt off of it, but it felt strange to me to be standing over her grave as I didn't know what I was supposed to do. I felt uncomfortable talking to her because I don't feel like she's there. It was quiet on this sunny Sunday morning and I wondered what else I could do except say goodbye, so I did.
I drove back to my sister's house, worked with Dave to pack up our bags, hugged my sister, brother-in-law, and niece, and then took off for the airport. I hated saying goodbye to my mom at the cemetery so quickly, but I hope to go back next year and go there when I arrive as well as when I leave so that I don't only say goodbye.
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