It’s a curious thing – the mind. As I get older it melds time.

I was standing at the bank teller’s counter taking care of business and chatting with Kathy, one of the teller’s I’ve been visiting for years. A song came over the speakers. I grew weepy. I find myself weepy this holiday season. Kathy said a lot of folks are feeling that way. I believe for me it’s partly due to a callousness I’ve never before sensed quite so severely from the seat of our nation.

But my mother filled my mind. 37 years ago today she died shortly after 9pm. My brother and I just finished singing a song we wrote about her when the phone rang.

You never quite believe your mom’s going to die – even when you have months leading up to it with all indicators pointing to that conclusion – the concept can just never quite take hold – at least in the mind of this then early 20s being.

And then she did.

And: “Oh, I’ve got to call Mom and tell her”; turning that corner to the hallway expecting to see her at the kitchen sink; anticipating her call up from the downstairs; but no more comments on decisions I made; no more irritating advice unsought; no more comments on how I looked.

No boisterous, engaging and mischievous grandma for your kids.

There’s much loss and gain from the death of a loved one.

And it’s taken me a while to reconcile the two. That recognizing one or the other is neither good nor bad. It just is.