Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On A Heavier Note
It's not serendipity to discover some things. Serendipity means that something good has come out of the chance combination of circumstance. While the necessary destruction of my desktop (actual, not virtual) in order to remove a fixture which had previously been clamped to said surface may provided me the chance to clean some things up, it also revealed a small sheet of paper which had been resting behind a drawer for a very long time. It is the first page of a hand-written letter from my mother to friends with a date in late November of 1992. I don't know how this was never sent but perhaps my finding as I did means that it got caught in a drawer and slid away from her all those years ago.
Some things just make you sad. This brings back every moment of the time I spent with her in her last days. I've had my tears and now feel compelled to reproduce some of what she wrote. I wish I could say exactly why I feel thus compelled. If there's any catharsis to be had from a tear shed in the marketplace, perhaps I can temper my sorrow with this:
"Dear (friends),
So good to have your Christmas card early so I can write a note. Sorry about the illness in your family. I pray almost every day to go out like a light. Essentially my parents did so I am optimistic."
What wrenches at me more? The idea that she "prays every day" for a swift end? That she's "optimistic" that the swift end she prays for will be what she has? Both of those ideas tear the hell out of me. But to then remember her diagnosis with cancer and her surgery which came too late, her last few weeks spent abed and being taken care of by her children. That's not what she wanted. While it may have been something like a month from the diagnosis to her spirit shedding itself of the weight of this world, it was more time, I know, than she wanted to be dependent.
I would have done anything to make her comfortable except speed the plow. Had she asked me to do that, I wouldn't have been able to live from the grief. Nevertheless, I was there as she dealt with her last days. So to come upon this hand-written note today has left me distraught and sad. I hope you, reader, will accept my having to write this and let the tears dry in the open air.

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