The couch I spend my Sundays on, and my Saturdays, used to sit on the shiny, wood floor of our living room. In winter months, it gave shelter to our hibernating tortoise, Arthur, and when my mother was dying, it was occupied by those who loved her. We waited for her to wake up in the morning, and then in the afternoon. We waited for a deus ex machina, a disco ball above the stage. We waited for eight years, and then one day in May, my mother said "No more," and then, we did not wait for a miracle; we waited for my mother to die. And while we were waiting, we laughed, and we ate, and we sat in the sun. I did my brothers' laundry, I wore my mother's pajamas, my brothers wore shorts and no shirts, we were wild children, wild with love, wild with fear. There was a strange golden glow to those hours, that stretched into days, into weeks, a house burning with frenzied love, lit by connections orbiting my dying mother. Before those days, and those weeks, there were the months and the years in which we had tucked our heads down, with the secret thought: Maybe we will be the lucky ones. But I knew. Though I knew not when, I knew we were not to be those lucky ones (Oh, but we were the lucky ones! Not enough time, never enough time, but lucky, to have had her - me for 32 years, Adam for 30, Michael for 27). One day in February, it was cold, outside and in, and I walked around the block, and I talked to my brother, Michael (he gives love as she did, he is my mother's heir), and he said "I feel like I'm watching her die," and my baby brother was a man in that moment, and my insides vibrated, for my baby brother was right, and he was saying what I was thinking, but what none of wanted to be the first one to say.
Life is moving, the shore is eroded by an ocean green like our eyes. In one month from yesterday, I will turn 34. Without the counsel of my mother, I feel like a child. Without the counsel of my mother, I feel like I was never a child.
In the flush of mourning, there is only one boundary - the line between the living and the dead. Words poured forth, I stood still, I did not cry, but there were no line between my insides and the world outside. As time moves forward, the shell has closed. Inside, sits the pearl.
A terrible tragedy has befallen someone very special to someone who is very special to me. Each tragedy has its own awful, dark, and winding path, and is peopled by he and she who are full of beautiful, threadbare flaws to those inside of them, and who are players in a play to those outside, for we cannot crawl inside each other's back pockets and see what life is like behind someone else's eyes. I know only my story. I know of hospitals and their humming lights, I know of nights that do not promise a morning. I know of mourning. I know of loosing one's deepest love, of kissing my dead mother's forehead. I know that people die, our greatest loves die, but great love does not die.