29 October 2011

How can it be snowing? It was barely summer when she died. Today is an aberration, but my life is guided by aberration; the life expectancy of an American woman is 80.4 years, so by that figure, my mother, and those who love her, were robbed of 23 years (remember the provenance of bereaved: bereafian "to deprive of, take away, seize, rob"). 23 years more years would not ready me to lose my mother, but 23 years more is what we should have had. There would have been weddings, our children, joys that she would have delighted in, sadness that she would have led us through.  My mother didn't do for rightness, but for the believing in the rightness, the knowing of what rightness is. There are storms in the world, hurricanes and earthquakes and devastation, yet we are short on the perfect storm of rightness, a wind that always blows north. I follow my mother's wind, I sniff the air in search of her path to follow.

My mother would have been the best old woman. I want (insufficient and bears no weight under my needs, that small word: want) to know that old woman. I will always be her daughter but I was only just becoming her adult daughter. When there is nothing more to come, no more from who you have lost, the mind becomes a hothouse of new and old. Though my mother lives no longer, our relationship lives to me, and as long as I am here, she will guide me. I will go forward, I will change, I will grow, but mothers can look into that prism of their children and see their future, though my mother is dead. Remember:

in my opinion you aren't dead. 
(I know dead people, and you are not dead.)

The girls lament the loss of summer. I did not know summer was ever here. It was warm while my mother was dying, and the sun was shining, and then rain poured from the sky when she died and R. sent me photos of a rainbow flashed from it's terminus on a dingy block, seemingly shot into the sky from the tumbled down, magic warehouse we were married in.

Now, there are no seasons. There is a circle from today back to April 3rd, the day I was married and I had the luxury of yelling at my mother to shut the door (I was nervous for 15 minutes before the ceremony). Up on the chair she went, during the hora we danced for her, with pure glee on her face, our small speed demon. And then, I mark the days that follow. The day she almost died in the hospital, the day chemotherapy was no longer an option, the last car ride together (in the back of an ambulance, just me and my mother, on her way home to die), the last kiss, the last hug, the last words I can't remember (watching your mother die is so very not like the movies), the last breath. There are no seasons, the cheap thrill of pumpkins or the first snow or blossoms to mark time. There is today, and there is yesterday.

I will make it okay, because she taught me how. But I want more than okay. I want the algorithm that teaches me how to live in the shadows of her beating heart. I want my mother.

1 comment:

EN said...

That is so true n touching, I too am an adult daughter who badly needs her mother to live a happy n meaningful life . But alas I will never get to be with my best old woman ..... She died in her early fifties , too young ....... Too soon .... Too sudden ..... Leaving us all too shattered ... May we find peace solace and some joy again .... M tired of living with an empty n weeping heart for the last 12 months.