August days keep us at the beach longer than planned and cause us to drive into the hills to find a cold mountain stream and even make biking into the dusk tremendous fun. Summer is at its best with corn on the table for dinner and peaches overflowing the breakfast bowl. August means loud and laughing people, salty and sandy bodies, breaking schedules and disrupting routines to make one big messy vacation that leaves you exhausted and smiling. For as long as I can remember August has centered around family, and thankfully, these last few weeks, that was exactly what this month brought.
Last summer, at my god-mother’s funeral, a cousin asked me if I missed my mother. Without skipping a beat I said of course, but I also added that I feel her inside of me, and in that place I hold her even closer. I hear her laugh coming from my throat, her gestures moving my hand, and her confidence as I stride into any situation. I encounter reminders of my mother in the shade of nail polish I pick out at the salon, reminders as I dive into the salty surf, reminders as I sit with her sister or brother, and certainly whenever talk drifts to the precious old days. She’s gone but she’s everywhere all at once.