03 April 2012
On Friday night, I dreamt of my mother. My last dream with her was terrifying, a nightmare like those of childhood, the kind where the waking world is so close but nothing in your small body can will you out of Hades' domain.
On Friday night, my mother sat propped on pillows in Nana Hannah's bucket chair, the one covered in apricot and violet and wedgewood blue Henri Rousseau palms. I was going through her closet, pulling out sweaters, jeans, work shirts and she sat there sick, but smiling, sick, but at peace, and she said to me, "It's okay, after today, I won't need that" and I said, "You're really okay, aren't you?" and she smiled and said "I am. I'm really okay." Over and over I told her, "Nothing makes me happier than knowing that you are okay."
The Rabbi told Petey that he never saw anyone go through the dying process with as much grace as my mother, and when Petey told me, I smiled and felt so proud to be her daughter. My mother lived with cancer for eight years - she lived through cancer, she wound around and above cancer like a magic flute. Until it was time to start dying, she lived, and when it was time to allow death into our home, she did knowing that her dash was as big and joyous and full of love as was possible: she had done that rarest of things - she had lived life to it's fullest. When she was still able to sit on the couch by the bay window, in our house by the bay that was always full (sometimes too full, but she was so loved), I could see her hover between two worlds, between the temporal world of her children, Petey and his sons, her brothers, her grandchildren, her friends, her nieces and nephews, and the world where her parents were (she felt her toes tingle, they were touching her, bringing them to her in the beauty of return and golden light and an old home made new). There were times that she didn't seem to see us, where my presence didn't call forth her smile, and it broke my heart, but I knew my mother had to begin letting go from the world she ate like a brownie sundae, and that gave me peace, for I did not want her to be afraid or be too sad to leave us. I needed her to know we would be okay, and Mom, we miss you does not suffice, but we are okay.
On Friday night, in my dream, my mother gave me a gift (for she was): she is okay. It is okay for us to sell the house, it is okay for us to give her clothes away, it is okay for time to move on.
Today is our first wedding anniversary. Like L. said, "Sadness will roll in with the tides of mundane memories, with holidays, with realizations about the lack of phone calls. Unfortunately, it will eventually come." The phone did not ring this morning. My mother did not call. Time is moving on. You cannot push against an ocean.