Last night it was difficult for me to fall asleep, I lay awake in bed long after I should have been sleeping, thinking about the two days that have collided and forever been fused together as an inseparable event in my mind, the days of September 7th and September 8th. The first once marked the passing of time on the calendar of my dad’s birthday and the second has come to mark the passing of time since my mother’s death. As I lay there my thoughts drifted to a time when life was different, when there had been a set order and rhythm to the days, the days of my childhood spent with these two people. I wish that I could go back in time and observe the events of my life as played out by myself as a child but with the understanding of an adult. I’d like to know what bound them together, I’d like to know their truths, I’d like to know why there was so much silence and anger, and words unspoken. I’d like to hear both their sides without accusations. I’d like for them to hear each other with empathy and understanding. Should have, would have, could have, you can’t turn back the clock. I lay awake tossing with every thought until exhaustion lead me to slumber.
Midway into my nightly nap I was awakened by our dog in need of a mid-night potty break, 2:33 a.m. was the time that our kitchen clock angrily glared at me. I clumsily stumbled back to bed after we both finished our mid predawn routine, I lay awake once again thinking that the 7th had stealthily now become the 8th. I was alone with my thoughts, directed to a morning seven years ago, the last night I would see my mother, the night I left her laying in a hospice bed alone with her thoughts and only time. I was the last to be with her, the last to talk with her, the last to kiss her and the last to bid her on her way. She hung on, probably longer than she should have, her body ravaged from the effects of congestive heart failure, diabetes, hypertension and a fall that had left her bedridden 6 years prior to her death. I stayed behind that night when everyone else went home to rest, I stayed because she had always stayed with me. I read to her that night, as she had done for me when I was so very young. I talked to her, though where she was at she could no longer speak to me with words. Her journey on this earth had been long and often arduous and still she struggled to remain. Somehow she told me without speaking that she would stay as long as I needed her to but she was tired and ready. I left her alone that night of September 8th, 2008. I left her alone to proceed on her journey and join those that had gone before her, those that she had been seeing and talking with in spirit for months.
I realized as I lay there thinking all these thoughts last night that this was the hour that she had made her journey and passed into that realm beyond our grasp. I lay there watching the twinkling that plays out just beyond my peripheral vision, just out of sight of seeing, wondering if mother had come to visit me this night, wondering if the lights were not just her but all those that I miss and wish I could see just once more, all those loved ones gone from human sight and touch.
My mother’s faith was natural and organic, her beliefs emanated from her as naturally as newborn growth with the warming of the earth each springtime. Her love knew no bounds and her compassion for those in need surpassed her fears and knowledge. As I lay there crying in the darkness, wishing for peace to fill my soul I have no doubt my mother heard me, felt me cry out and answered my crys with love and light. She was with me this past night, she is with me still. She walks with me daily and speaks to me with kindness and love. I may not always heed her voice but it is there when calm and peace are restored. Hers was the hand that cooled my brow and wished to ease me of my sorrows, to fix what was broken and mend what needed mending. She was a simple woman, unencumbered by the trappings of this world and the times she was born into. It was this simplicity that gave birth to her strength and saw her through, she needed no explanations, no excuses; she simply was. I owe her my life and I am humbled to be her daughter. I wish I could tell her that I finally get it, I finally understand. But, I think she knows and as was her way, she quietly accepts that I am so late in comprehending what she knewn all along. I miss you mom, I miss you and love you.