Monday, May 9, 2011

Let Me Tell You About Mother’s Day

My mother, in her early 50s, thought she had the flu so she went to the doctor and promptly had a heart problem sitting on the exam table.  Valve flutter, something she’d been told of, and ignored, her whole life.

She had the misfortune to undergo a valve replacement operation.  Worse, her body refused to give up the heart-lung machine.  The longer someone’s on one of those, the more brain damage accrues.  

When she came off it she wasn’t herself and, after a huge amount of needless stress put on her by a sociopathic bitch my brother inadvertently married, my mother died.

I’m reminded of the beautifully delivered, subtle line delivered by Brion James in BLADERUNNER:  “I’ll tell you about my mother.”


I’m reminded, too, of something my mother told me on the ‘phone once she got off the heart-lung machine.  She was still in the hospital and a bit bleary from drugs, speaking to me across the Atlantic.  She was in South Carolina, I in Germany.  She described a journey she’d taken on a star ship of some kind, outward through the cosmos from Earth.  She said it was something like the Enterprise from STAR TREK, but more complicated and real, and also more futuristic, bigger, a star ship with proportion.  She was enthralled to observe all the wonderful sights offered by planets, galaxies, and nebulae, even by deep space itself.  She loved it and said, “I didn’t really want to come back but I thought maybe I should.”

It felt like a good-bye, although she never said it that way, and this reminded me of the last time I’d seen her.

My wife and kids had stopped by to visit my parents before shipping out to Germany.  My mother kept touching her chest, and I kept having the impression she had Kleenex stuffed in there, so that the shirt, a crew neck tee shirt, bumped out to about tennis ball size.  It was odd and I mentioned it to my wife, who said, “There was no bump.”

My mother, after her operation, described the trouble she’d had on the doctor’s examination table as “a bump in my chest, like my heart at moving wrong.”

Premonition?  Who knows.

So now it’s 2011 and I’m in my fifties and it’s Mother’s Day again and although my wife is a mother, and so am I for that matter, I tend to think of an outward journey of the soul set free because my mother, after she died, never came back to say hi.  My father did, and still does, often, but I never see my mother.  

My own little mother, so small and sturdy and sure.

Now I’m crying so I guess that’s enough.    

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