My whole life my mom's had this wooden clock over her pantry. Way up on the wall, the same color as the woodwork, a flat wooden clock against the orange wall. I didn't even think to take it when I went through her house because, honestly, it's just always been part of the wall. It blended in and I never even looked at it because the digital clock on the microwave was easier to see, brighter and at eye level like it was. But up at Mom's the other day with my brother, I caught a glimpse of the clock and asked him if he could get it down for me. So now I have this clock and no idea what to do with it or where to put it. And I also realize that I know nothing about it. She kept that clock on her wall, never replaced it or took it down, for almost 40 years, and I don't know why. Did my dad buy it for her? Did she fall in love with it at a store or a flea market? Maybe it was her father's and she inherited it. Maybe my dad inherited it from someone on his side of the family. Or maybe it was just some 70s piece of kitsch my mother thought would look good on an orange wall above a wooden pantry door. But the thing is, I'll never ever know. I'll never know the story about that clock, or even if the clock has a story. Because my mom is dead and I can never ask her. And Dad is dead too so even if he knew why she bought that clock he can't tell me. And I swear, this isn't becoming a death blog. But I just really wish I knew why Mom had this stupid clock, because it doesn't look right in my green kitchen. The light hits it different and it doesn't match the woodwork and it goes way better with orange than with green.
I'll tell you guys, losing a parent is hard, but losing the other one is so much worse. Because you're not just losing someone and dealing with that, you're losing all of the stories you never asked to hear, and the name of that lady who picked you up when you fell out of the tree at the family reunion, and the guy with the spider monkey, and all of the other little details you never committed to memory because you didn't have to; they knew them. And it feels like your whole childhood is gone, too, because you have to go through and dismantle the house and take down all of the pictures and see bare spots on the wall where they used to be and turn a home into a house again. And it just sucks.