12 August 2011

I cannot explain to you this unbelievable desire for something I will never have again, this deepest need for my mother to return to life. She was smaller than me, but felt so much bigger, feels so much bigger, and every time I held her hand, which was often, I was struck by her smallness, by how very small her hand felt in mine. I felt like a man must feel, holding the hand of a woman.

I was told about a woman who, after her mother died, became a Hospice aide. Before June 17th, I would not have understood this, the return to the scene of a horrible crime, but now I do, but I won't, for I'm not as good as that woman. If I cannot have my mother, alive, well, crying "Girlfriend!!!" loudly and off-key into the video chat, as Teepee's ears stood straight on end, huge and ridiculous, I would have the end again, the feeling of purpose, holding her failing body tight, giving her the last hug I would give her, as Nancy, her hospice aide turned her on her side to check for bed sores. The first time we did this, my mother held me as I held her, and our tears mingled in pools on our cheeks, falling from the same green eyes. The last time, my silent mother's body was a weight in my arms, her breathing was jagged in my ear, and the tears were only mine.

Where does redemption come from? Where is joy, pure and unfettered, without her? My girl, I cannot feel free without you here. I know what you want for me. You told your children when we promised to one day go to the Galapagos, to see the tortoises and the blue-footed boobies, that we could only go if we promised you one thing: we would have fun. Mom, I promised you, and I promise you, but it has not yet been two months, and in my sadness, I honor you. Don't be mad at me, my girl, for not being a goer and a doer quite yet. I want to be still, to be quiet, to be with you, with my thoughts of you.


by land by air by sea said...

i am never able to leave a comment here

because i know not why.
they are alwasy sent back to me

but i want to say this

to cyber space
to you
to your mother
i have felt your pain
i have cried tears on this site
for your beauty and authenticity
and love
for another

Caitlin said...

"I cannot feel free without you here."
Those words hit the nail right on the head.
Thank you.