Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

In the wee hours of December 21st, I stood at the foot of my mother's bed in the family room at their home and watched the light leave her sea-green eyes.

The thunder rolled in the distance as she began her exit from this plane of existence, and as she accelerated toward the end of life, the wind picked up and heat lightning flashed in the distance. In the moment that she left us, there was a brief torrential downpour, and when she was gone, the rain ceased, the wind resumed, and the storm moved off into the distance.

I told the friend who served as her maid of honor that Mom rode the storm away like a damn Valkyrie. You had to have known Mom to get how characteristic it was...and Mary Jean agreed. "That's exactly how my old friend would do it," she said.

Later that night, with our friends gathered at the house, a dangerous storm passed through. While we stood in the breakfast room arguing about whether or not to seek shelter in the basement, the mechanical butterfly I'd bought for my mother began to fly frantically in its jar, pinging repeatedly as it slammed into the glass. I pointed to it and announced loudly, "Mom says go to the basement."

I hadn't realized that the switch in its lid was turned on, because the thing hadn't moved in over a year. It's touch-operated. Nobody touched it.

Mom said, "Go to the basement."

We went to the basement.

I loved my mother. I miss her constantly.

That's all I can write at the moment. Maybe more will come later.