Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hiatus, disjointed;

I didn't want to write about this, about any of it, because I don't want to think about it and I don't want to have to read it again, and but so I am doing it, and then I'll probably bury this post under the type of silliness I am posting to the Facebooks these days (reason I post there is, the "likes" and comments and stuff remind me that I do have friends, people do know me, people can actually hear me).


Five days after my mother died, died in my arms, I am running in the bright cool blue California sunshine, watching my heart rate on my Garmin but mostly jumping my eyes around to all the beautiful things -- the breezes in the palm trees, the bright red blooms of a flower whose name I don't know, the baby shoots of green grass from the first rains we've had in a year, somebody's fluffy new Christmas puppy (little furball!) -- and I can feel the soft air on my arms and the breath in my lungs and the solid way my feet strike pavement and even though I know that my house is full of people who are growing more resentful of my absence by the second, I take another lap around the park and feel alive; not happy, not joyous, not anything really except alive.


Four in the morning, again. I am grateful that she got to have some fun these last few years. She lived in a new house instead of the old wreck in town, with its cracks and leaks and heavy ballast of 35 years of family memories. She had a great group of friends -- they had sleepovers! they took art classes! they traveled together and sent back pictures of themselves on barges, in pubs, at historic sites and in front of hilarious road signs! I am desperately sorry I never got to go on any of those trips with her -- the reasons were valid at the time (i.e., I was breastfeeding a newborn, etc.), but I knew she wanted me there.


Sunday afternoon. I think of all the times I didn't call. We had a longstanding tradition of talking on the phone on Sundays, but sometimes I didn't call. I would be too busy, or out of the house, or knew she was traveling, or just didn't fucking feel like it, or passive-aggressively testing the theory that she didn't know phones would work both ways and if she wanted to talk to me she could call ME, dammit.

She wasn't afraid of dying -- she was sure she was going home to Jesus. I'm glad of that, but I wonder what it feels like to have that certainty, and I further wonder what kind of a god would allow her to be so troubled by my lack of belief. That awful morning after she passed, the home health nurse (who is also a family friend) told me that my mother had said to her that she doesn't want to go to Heaven if her kids aren't going to be there. So I told the nurse that I'd take that under advisement -- I think those are the words I used.


We were planning a family trip next summer -- she wanted us (me & my fam, my brother & his wife, my sister) to all go somewhere together. I was looking up various destinations, but primarily Maine, which she had in recent years started really really wanting to visit. Those bookmarks are in my bookmark bar. I keep seeing them when I scroll down to look up my other sites.


Sixty-six. That's not old. It's fucking ridiculous, is what it is. It's one huge bad choice (smoking for 30+ years, although she quit in 1996, aka the Worst Summer Ever) and a whole bunch of other un-good ones (no exercise, Texas diet, complete lack of preventive health care of any kind), plus who knows what cards drawn from the genetic deck. Those pictures I have -- her as a bleached-blonde teenage cheerleader, a slim local TV personality, a hip young mama -- how are those the same person who only made it to 66?


My last words with her were via text. My kids are young and will not understand for years what has happened. I curse openly on Facebook now, and feel free to hit "like" on pretty much every Planned Parenthood and/or Obama thing I see. My sister, alone in the house we have to clean out and vacate by January 31, keeps sending me boxes of stuff from the house -- handwritten recipes, a ring, yearbooks 1964-67, uncatalogued photos from both sets of grandparents and great-grandparents. I can't wash or get rid of the navy Lands' End turtleneck I was wearing all that awful night and day and night and dawn when I was lying on the bed with her as her breathing gradually slowed, pinged awake from a light doze by the alarm on my iPhone every half hour to administer either atropine or lorazepam via liquid syringe the way I'd dose my babies with Tylenol back in the day, talking to her even though she couldn't hear me, reading aloud "To Kill a Mockingbird" from my phone when I couldn't think of any more ways to say it's OK mom, I love you mommy, I'm here, I'm here, I love you and it's OK. 

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Blogger Amblus said...

This is beautiful and so sad and she loved you and I'm so sorry for your loss.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

Thank you, A.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous 12 said...

I am so sorry. I wish I could help you ache. It is terrible that you had the occasion to write this, but I hope you at least know that it is gorgeous.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

'preciate that, Mick.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Uncle Spike said...

Wow. I am so sorry to read about your mom. Reading FB, I knew, but I really didn't *know*. Thank you for writing this and sharing with your fans and friends. That last sentence is just heartrending. I hope you keep the memories but find peace soon.

11:09 AM  
Blogger francine said...

I just read this again and am so sad. And I'm happy she made you because I found you on this enormous interweb like some kind of gift and I'm proud to call you a friend, even a "virtual" one, and I know she's still so proud of you and that she loved you very, very much. You're an amazing person, mother, wife and writer and I'm grateful I found you!

8:27 PM  
Blogger Cory said...

I check in on your blogs every seventh month or so, usually when I decide to revisit my bookmarks. So sorry to hear about your mom. 66 is very young, by my standards. Hell, I'm 57. My mom made it to 86. My dad was taken down at 59 by the same cigarettes and Texas diet that did in your mom. (You gotta love the Texas diet, though. Chicken fried steak. Good BBQ. Pecan pie.) Anyway, just wanted to say that I'm sorry for your loss, Lydia. I like the idea of Maine in her memory.

6:23 PM  

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