My Inner Blizzard

It’s quiet here this afternoon, so quiet, after the big blizzard. My husband has taken our weekend guest into Boston before giving him a ride to the airport. My son is out with a friend, sledding. Fly high! I think. It’s New Year’s Day of the Year of the Snake—Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!—my son’s year. Last night, we celebrated with friends.

Beginnings and endings: I feel them keenly today.

"Fresh Pond Snow" © Martha Nichols

Two weeks ago, I sat with my mother when she died, my fingers resting on the dry crown of her head. Her lovely brown hair was still only flecked with gray. I held my brother’s hand as she took her last breath, and then we looked at each other, shocked.

Is that it?

The silence then, that’s what reminds me of the silence in the house now. She died hours after midnight, in California. Today the sky is blue, the sun almost painful as it glints off stalks of ice and snowy roof lines. But that silence was as full as this cloudless sky.

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