it’s not about YOU, it’s about THEM

25 01 2011

When someone’s horribly injured, or terminally ill, it seems I hear an astonishing number of people say that they didn’t go see someone because they don’t want to remember someone “that way”.

Horse-shit.

I’m all for honoring yourself and your limits, but come on. Get over yourself. Yes, I clearly remember her discomfort, her puffy face, her scant scraggly bits of remaining hair, the flaky grey skin that wasn’t quite hers, and even at the end: her struggles, sweats, and gasps.

Yes, that memory is very clear. Crystal clear. But so what?

I loved her. Any discomfort I might have of what images might linger wasn’t diddly squat compared to what she was up against. There are loads of other memories. It wouldn’t have even crossed my mind to NOT be there. How could it?

She needed comfort. Most especially right at those very moments. And what a privilege for me to be able to be there and hold her hand, stroke what was left of her hair, breathe with and maybe even FOR her at times, and speak soothing memories and comforts to her as she endured the pain and fear until she was freed into the big peaceful unknown. Most of us aren’t so lucky– squashed on the highway, heart-attack alone, and if you’re one of the lucky ones you’re in a home for years and years only to end up choking on the mashed peas– I just hope I’m as lucky to have that kind of love surrounding me when it’s my time.

As awful as those long minutes were, and as much as I wanted them to pass, both for her to be out of discomfort and for myself to be out of it too, at the same time I wanted to hold onto every last precious second we had together.

So yeah, I remember. Some may call those images ugly. And I suppose they are in some ways.

But I see it differently.

Sure, I still cry when those images come. Because they were beautiful.

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one last thing

18 08 2010

It may not appear so at first glance, but this is the best funeral song, EVER.

All my life, she always said she wanted to go out with a brass band. Those aren’t easy to come by in the middle of a rice field, so the best we could come up with was an impromptu boombox, graveside, with a little Gladys Knight & the Pips.

Why, you ask?

Every spring cleaning, she’d hard-wax the wood floors, put me on an old wool army blanket, and sping me around on the floors to buff ’em, with old Motown blaring.

So last year, this came on in a random shuffle, and the dam broke. And there it was.

Holy hell, she would’ve LOVED the boombox-funeral bit. Use your imagination, and you can see her grinnin and swinging me around. Shiniest floors, ever.

Anyone else wanna wax some floors?





just another lap around the sun…

18 08 2010

me and momma - circa 1976-ish

… makes the sky a little brighter.

And no, it’s not my birthday. 🙂

(Yeah, I know, I know. I disappeared again. 😦 But only for a little while.)

It was all coming to a head one year ago. One year ago this past Saturday, One Tough Lady passed away. And one year ago today, we buried her.

Last year on my birthday is when she “spilled the beans” that she was sick, so between 7/15 this year and now, I’ve somehwat been reliving all of it, day by day. Even though I knew I was, I’ve been burrowed deeper into the fog than I realized I guess.

Earlier today, that fog that I was mostly unaware of this past month… lifted. In what seemed like an instant. I stopped dead in my tracks, for no reason. Not upset, just ginormous Pause button. And wouldn’t ya know it, it was about 2p, which is about exactly one year later, to the minute, of when we buried her.

I’m beyond awed of the quiet a swarm of friends stealthily surrounding me this month. I’m not sure I noticed it at the individual moments, but I’m so full of gratitude to have found such fantastic people– everywhere. From the nice stranger in Office Depot’s parking lot, to friends old and shiny-new, and to my poor taken-for-granted hubby this past month– there’s been a lot of love goin’ around. I tried to find the words to express my gratitude for that last year, but they still fall short of doing it any justice.  

No big reveal, or pithy moments, or dialog. So I feel… well, I dunno. Maybe it’s just that: I FEEL.

That’ll hafta do. (And I’m good with that.)