Ma three years after
Mom died three years ago, July 6, 2011. I miss her…
The first year it was like she was in my skin, in my face in the mirror, sometimes I’d look at my feet and see her feet, would scrub and scrub her skin off mine…I wept everyday on the way to and from work, then bonked my own forehead because I knew she did NOT approve of sentimentality, or crying over things you cannot change.
She (I?) moved on the second year, and seemed to appear less often except in perhaps the funniest moments…her voice faded from every day conversations. But she was still around.
The third year during my cancer nonsense, she nudged me now and then to get over myself and to remember others have troubles, too…she did not believe in self pity, and would have thumped me had I embraced it… I’m glad for that.
I miss calling her when she was still at home, or walking into the dining room at Nightingale Lane, saying, “Hello, Muthaw!” to which she would reply, “Oh, hello, Dahling” then chuckle…I miss her cool hand in mine those last couple years…her awareness of the change of seasons by the change in the trees on our drives…though eventually, she couldn’t remember the word for trees, she knew what she was looking at…what’s a word, anyway, but something someone made up once. If she saw a motorcycle on the road, she always thought it was one of her boys, always…and she’d wave, glad they’d driven by. “Never can tell where they’ll show up,” she’d say. She studied the pictures Mag posted all over her walls, sometimes asking…”Now who is that handsome young man in the pilot suit?” (Jon)
or “oh my, is THAT Giles and Turner?” “Who is that beautiful girl and her father?” (Jenn and Bob)… sometimes she would ask me who I was , and how nice to meet me…or Mag, Julie and Max and Ryan would have been to visit and JUST left, and she’d say to me, “I never see Margaret. How are Julie and the babies?”
I don’t miss the panic in her eyes when she was uncertain where she was, or hearing that she was distressed being showered. I don’t miss wondering if she was on the right meds, that she really felt comfortable…I don’t miss her asking every so often, “where’s my car?” to which I’d always say, “Oh, it’s in the garage.” “oh, that’s good. It’s a good little car, y’know?” “It is, Ma” and I will never forget the time my brother, Ted, was in town and stopped in to visit her, and stood in the hall while I woke her sleeping in her chair, got my face really close to her and said, “Look who’s here!” Ted waved, and this look of purest joy came over her face, she was out of her chair and at his side as fast as her shuffling feet would carry her – sure, beyond any doubt – that he was Dad, her Johnny, come at last…
I hope…oh what am I saying…I know she’s doing well in the great beyond, organizing and moving the furniture every six weeks or so…
Miss you, Ma…every day…but I’m not being mopey!
Thank you for sharing these precious memories, some of which I’m sure hurt to recall.
I hope it’s easier most days to remember your dear, ol’ dad, my friend.