Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Old Rhythms

I’m getting sick. It’s an old response to difficult tasks. Emotional upheaval.

I’m on my way to my mother’s house this weekend to go through her things- things I was never to touch- pack and bring them to my home.

My sister is coming, then she’s not, then she is…

My chest is starting to tighten with a cough. My throat is sore.

Allergies, I try to tell myself.

If I could close my eyes and make a wish it would be to be able to go by myself and do this. In my own time. No one near me. Sleep in her house. Be left alone. I don’t want to take care of anyone else’s feelings.

Well, except for Allan. He is coming with me. I need help packing. I’m not much of a packer. It’s not his mother, though. He supports me and gives me room when and where I need it.

[removed upon request] It brings up a black cloud that is not about my mother.

My mother and I have enough black clouds on our own. Sorry. My mother and I had enough black clouds of our own. I must start using the past tense.

I don’t want the underlying tension between my siblings and I to cover the rooms like dust from termites chewing.

I want to go hold my mother.

I can’t hold her anymore. The last time I was in the house, I held her in my arms. I rubbed her back. The paper white skin on her arms was outgrowing the red splotches and I knew she was dying. Soon. She tilted her head towards me after a long drag off a cigarette.

Are you going to be okay?

Yes, Mom. I'm going to be okay.

I’m not okay.

I had a nightmare last night about going through the house. I fought bitterly with my brother over stuff.

I don’t want to fight over stuff. I want to take a few things to hold her close to me.

She can’t be held. She’s gone. No amount of stuff will ever bring her back.

My throat gets a little sorer. My chest, tighter. My body is shifting into old rhythms. Getting sick. Wanting to be alone, hidden away from everyone. Except my mother. I want to be sitting by her feet on the kitchen floor. She made everyone behave with a sharp look and even sharper words.

I miss her.

I thought walking away from her ashes, left with two flowers and the kid’s letters and photos, was the hardest thing I ever had to do. This weekend, I’m going to pack a piece of her world and bring it into mine.

I’m not okay, Mom. I don’t know if I can do this after all.


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