A week ago someone I’m connected to on Facebook “liked” one of their friend’s new profile picture.
I was hanging out in a hotel room in London looking for reasons not to work so I clicked on her friend’s picture and saw a great picture of this woman I didn’t know with her adult son.
It made me smile. It was a greeting card from some woman I don’t know, celebrating being a mother.
I don’t think this woman or her friend knew that it was Mother’s Day in the UK – their Mother’s Day (or is it Mothers’ Day) is about two months before the day we celebrate in the US.
Kim and I were in London a few years ago on their Mother’s Day and saw all the cards and displays and panicked a bit.
“Wait,” I said, “we didn’t forget to send Mother’s Day cards to our mothers, did we?”
“I don’t think so,” she said. “Isn’t Mother’s Day in May?”
A quick search revealed that they celebrate Mother’s Day earlier than we do. As one friend put it to me at a conference last week, “It’s kind of funny that Mother’s Day in the UK is nine months after Father’s Day.”
Once Kim and I knew we hadn’t missed Mother’s Day and we weren’t in trouble, we relaxed and continued to walk down Portobello Road.
Kim being Kim took the opportunity to buy British cards to “Mum” for each of our mothers.
There’s so many things I loved about Kim being Kim.
In England Kim would drink Gin and Tonics because you should.
Kim would always say, “we should drink more often.” We hardly ever drank at home but always enjoyed relaxing over a glass of wine, a beer or cider, or a cocktail while traveling. Kim mostly ordered location specific beverages – whisky in Scotland, whiskey in Ireland, G & T’s in London, and wine in Paris. Wine was a fallback pretty much everywhere, but always in Paris.
I’ve been traveling a lot teaching. One of my examples on the first day is to create two people “daniel” and “kimberli”. I’ve been teaching a variation of this example for a while. I haven’t been able to remove it since Kim died.
In the example, you see what it takes to change daniel’s name to “kimberli” and whether or not that changes kimberli’s name. It turns out it depends on what type of objects we’re creating.
At the end of the example, I clean up a bit and delete the parts referring to kimberli.
The last time I taught this lesson a student said, “time to say goodbye to kimberli.”
He didn’t know.
To him it was a coding joke.
I caught my breath and continued – I don’t think anyone noticed.
I’m at a strange point in this process. It happened with Elena too.
There are times that, just for a moment, I forget that Kim is dead.
Usually, I’m in a hotel somewhere waking up. I used to text her in the morning. I wake up and reach for my phone and then I remember and say, “oh.”
I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to say goodbye to Kimberli, but there are those moments when I forget that she’s gone.
Mother’s Day in the UK reminded me that Mother’s Day is coming here in the states.
I expect it to be horrible.
Kim and I had a long tradition on Mother’s Day and another on Father’s Day. We celebrated each of them together before the kids woke up to join us. Crepes on Mother’s Day; bagels on Father’s Day.
I enjoyed Mother’s Day in the UK. I glanced back at the woman and her son like I was glancing back at a greeting card before putting it in a drawer.
I poked around a bit on Facebook and found that the neighbor whose link had led me to the card also is friends with one of Kim’s cousins and her husband. I think she teaches with Kim’s cousin.
The world is so small.
One thing Kim loved about traveling was seeing the stores and tasting the foods that were special to the places we were visiting. She hated that the world had gotten homogenous.
When we were first married she loved going to Nordstroms in San Francisco. Now there are Nordstroms everywhere – they aren’t special.
When Starbucks was small, she would go to one now and then. Now there are Starbucks in London, Paris, and just about anywhere – they aren’t special.
When we were in London, Kim would drink tea and not coffee because it was London.
So many things are now the same everywhere – the places are still special but not in the same way.
At least their Mother’s Day and ours were on different days.
The day on which their clocks “spring forward” is also different than ours. This year I lost two hours.
This year the clocks in London spring forward on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day was an hour shorter than Father’s Day will be.
I like to think that that’s in honor of Kimmy.
They did it because this year the world is one “mum” short.