Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Mother's Death

My mother died six days ago. As I left the hospital at 2 a.m. I felt a lightness in my bones that I had not had for a long time. I snitched one of my nephew's Marlboro's - like dirt in my mouth, but I didn't care, my mother was no longer suffering. A couple of us had placed two flowers on her chest: a rose from the last bouquet I would ever buy her and the other a cone flower my sister had snitched from hospital property. Everyone else left and I carefully monitored her shrunken, bruised body being lifted from the bed to the gurney. I placed my hand on top of the red velvet blanket that was placed on her and we headed for the elevator. And then she was gone. As of this time I have felt only small stabs of grief as the waves of relief that are washing over me silence even the heaviest of thoughts. As the days go by the recent memories of her suffering will begin to fade and I will remember the vibrant and colorful woman that she was. I lay on my back in the city pool and hear my own breathing strong and steady rising beside me. Where is she? Filmy clouds slide back and forth above me and the sky looks very far away. I see a small silver jet the size of my thumbnail silently skimming through the cloud bank.
Today my son from Colorado left. I laid my forehead on his chest and sighed. I could feel a catching of breath in his chest. I need to go swimming again.

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