Mother died six years ago today.
Everything about those few days surrounding her death seemed surreal. But what is the difference between real and surreal? Only that one is perceived by the mind, the other intuited by the soul.
My mother who was a troubled and unhappy woman even in the best of times, spent her last few years in the terrifying fog of Alzheimer's, perpetually lost and alone in a strange place with strangers, unable to remember anyone or anything in her environment, not even herself.
More than once, she worried aloud, "Do you know who I am?" "Yes," I'd say, with pretended brightness. "Then who am I?" she'd ask. And when I said her name, she'd look at me blankly before finally saying, "Well, I guess that's right."
"All happy families are alike: each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
I never knew my mother to be happy. I've been going through old photographs and I'm struck by how sour we all look in every one of them: Mother, Daddy, Anita and I, an unhappy family.
But in the last few seconds, as my mother lay dying, she opened her eyes and for no more than a nanosecond, I glimpsed pure rapture and joy in her eyes as she passed into eternity.
Outside, in the gloom of the Winter Solstice, snow was swirling as the good Earth tilted toward deep space, away from the life giving heat and light of the yellow sun. I was alone, cast into outer darkness. An era had passed. Mother and Daddy were dead.
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As always, I ask you to do me the favor of sharing Dogwood Daughter and Lily Cat Music for Kids with others. I'm an indie artist and have no advertising budget, only word of mouth from my website visitors, like you. Thank you.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, or just Merry Winter in general to everyone.
Be Well and Good Luck,