Sunday, March 27, 2005

Speaking of death...

It's Easter, and the topic on everyone's mind is death... albeit mostly associating it with that whole conquering death thing that Easter is about. Or something.

So what a great opportunity to share something that I am unable to share with anyone in person, because it's sort of horribly emotional and nothing I want to talk about in person.

We have this song we're singing in this next concert which is about "mother". I find the last verse--which mainly focuses on how when it's her time to go, I hope she sees the love in my eyes that I saw in hers as I was growing up--to be particularly painful to make it through.

Here's the thing: there's no "good-bye" moment with someone in my mom's state. I mean, it's not just that whole, "I never got to say good-bye" or "The last thing I said to her was, 'You've got tuna salad on your blouse'" thing. There's NO "good-bye" moment. I'll never know when the "good-bye" moment was. I'll never know what the ACTUAL last thing I said to her was, in her mind.

Was it when I asked her about Uncle Bud at that Hardee's in Mexico, MO a few years ago? Was it something that I said to her that Christmas she came to Omaha? Was it me running in as a little boy, a deep gash in the back of my right hand, screaming, "I'm gonna die!" Was it some awful thing I said to her in my horrible teen years? Was it me asking her if dad was going to die?
Does she even remember me existing?

The big thing is, where is she? Where's that woman that was my mother? The one who said, "You just as well laugh as cry" and "Who's driving the truck?" and "Like a bicycle," (in response to someone saying they were too tired) and the one who'd sing "Marsie Doats" and about ten other old standards whenever the whim would strike her... that woman is where, exactly?

And who is staring at me when I'm at the nursing home? Who is giving me that angry look? Is it the woman who said, "If I ever get like gramdma, I want you to promise you'll kill me." Is she laying there, looking at me, thinking, "Well, you promised, didn't you?"

Happy Easter, everybody!

1 comment:

JMP said...

My dad has Alzheimer's. I will go through it too. Reading some of what you went through helps. Thank you for sharing your realization of the loss of a good-bye. Because of you I will now look for my own good-bye moment with him, to occur before his actual death.