Just now, ten minutes ago, I encountered my mother who died two and a half years ago.
It wasn’t a Halloween-inspired ghostly sighting (though the skeletons climbing out of everyone’s front yard soil this week do make me glad she was cremated).
It was something I said that evoked her so completely. Something very trivial.
I had dropped a breakfast crumb on the kitchen floor and answered my brief hesitation — should I pick that up? — with the words: Tritt sich fest!
This translates simply as: It’ll be trod into the floor! and means: Don’t worry about it!
And it is an expression I know and use because she said it. Probably hundreds of times in my life. She’s the only person I know who said it so regularly and religiously. That’s why it feels like earlier she spoke through me. Those were her words. She taught me them and the attitude behind them and endows them with her spirit still. Some things shouldn’t be tidied. And some things can’t be.
She tells me that the things that fall or that we lose will become part of our foundation, what we stand on. Unless we keep picking them back up.