Continuing on yesterday’s topic – writing about a moment when you recognized the magnitude or reality of a loss.
Today is the third anniversary of my mother’s death. Death? Passing? Passing sounds nicer, doesn’t it. Makes the passing sound easy. Death is a hard word. Dead. My mother passed. It was the end of her living that was hard. Her death was easy.
My brother and I sat on either side of the hospital bed we had set up in her dining room. We were all watching tv – something mindless. Real Housewives, or maybe The Price is Right – she loved The Price is Right. I was holding her hand, which was cold. But it was always cold.
I was telling her silently that it was ok. We were ok. And we knew she was tired. She could go.
And she heard. She listened. She left us.
I sat for a minute looking for breath, but there was none. There was none. I stared at my brother, willing him to look over at me, and he did, and I nodded toward her lifelessness, and he said, “Oh.”
Three years ago today.
And I have just watched Hillary Clinton give a speech in which she accepted the mantle of first woman presidential candidate from a major party. First. And I wanted to call my mom and share that historical moment with her. We never really talked politics much. When I was younger and we did, it would usually end with her not really asking me “Where the hell did you come from?” and telling me “knowingly” that as I got older, I would get more conservative. She was wrong. She actually joined me in the light as she got older.
My mother had to quit teaching in 1965 because she was pregnant. I want to share this with her. I’m sure she knows.
All day today I kept thinking, “I have to call my dad and see how he’s doing.” This anniversary makes him sad.” Then I remembered he was probably with her right then, having coffee. That two sad anniversaries without her were enough for him.
Tonight I am quietly celebrating this moment in history, and the moments of our history that may seem small in comparison, but somehow contain everything.