I remember the time before.
I walked, hurriedly to the massive concrete place.
It was early morning, my face was taut from determination, my eyes were worn from the hours of awake, waiting, watching.
How could I be expected to find it, I realize now, many years later. It was a hard day.
I’m no longer that hard on myself.
I walked, already lost and entered every lane. I chose different levels. White, black, grey, red tail lights barely standing out in the black place filled with cars. Occasional glints of shiny color distracting my search, the sun coming up and in gradually.
I had a full meltdown.
The patient waiting without me at the corner of the hospital, the nurse maybe wondering what happened to her mama and my girl most likely sure her mama must be lost.
I lost my car. I stood with the truth of my disaster and accepted what I knew must be true. It’s not here, somehow, someone has taken it.
My daughter waiting, I believe realized I’d “lost it this time” and we’d not discuss it at all.
Same as there’d be no need or time to talk of “what if, what next, what now or why?”
A hospitalization after a procedure that was not a success and she, we go from exam table in pretty Dr.’s room to hospital bed to spend New Year’s Eve.
We were released and my mind, emotionally overloaded could not remember the space among hundreds of cars from two days before on the morning we got to go home.
The morning the sunrise came in through the openings in the hard place up high, I came to terms with what I might not be able to fix or find.
I found it eventually and made it down to load my girl in the car, her almost adult frame and baby face, understanding how I’d fallen apart and stayed away so long, struggling a real struggle in the parking garage while she waited in a wheelchair below.
She loved me anyway. Didn’t say so then but does everyday now.
So, this time I wasn’t gonna lose my mind and my car. Fatigued for a different reason, sleep deprived and uncertain of how I might be.
We were early, but had to park on the very top, the place that feels oddly special with open sky above, a slightly risky feeling.
I opened the door, grabbed my purse and prepared to walk with my boy into the place he’d be flying away for three months.
Stopped for a second, he slightly ahead on his way. I looked down at the marking on the space. “L” it said, okay I told myself, “L like Lisa, I’m good.”
Then, just to be certain, uncertain of my state upon coming back alone, I quickly got my phone from the pocket of my bag and I took a picture of the place I’d be coming back to.
Because, I remembered and I’m not at all embarrassed now over losing my car before.
The mama mind is naturally consumed sometimes and directionally challenged because of the strong and hard pull of the heart. Times when the baby bird is in need of healing to be better at flying and times when the bird is learning to fly.
Surely, mama bird might struggle in her return to the nest.
I’m certain she does.
Perhaps, they mark it with a bright stem or string, wanting to be confident of where they left off.
And I wonder now, if ever, just for the sake of mama memory, if the mama bird flies back to rest a bit in the place she let them go.
Maybe just for the sake of remembering how strong she made their wings.