Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 113

I wish I could truly explain what a beautiful thing it is to witness the dying of a star. A woman going supernova before your eyes. Mingled with your interminable grief, amid the quarry of lonely, foggy abyss, you see light. Light in neons of pink and green, yellow and orange bursts that climb the cliff face you once gazed at from above. Rays of passion and hope stream all around you. Soaring into the heavens.

When my mother still had her words, when she still experienced lucidity from time to time, she giggled curiously and said to me: I keep wanting to ask you what your mother was like. Once again, she steals my breath away. I gasped and then smiled: Any time you want to know about mother, just ask. I would love to tell you about her. If you don't know who my mother is, you should ask. I mean who she really is.

She is courageous. She is confident, but kind. She is impatient with incompetence, yet unconditionally accepting when you're ready to learn. She can make herself heard any time she chooses. She insists upon her dignity, her composure and she will never concede a fight. And that was just this morning.

If you're the poor fool who mistakes her beauty (though Aphrodite incarnate she may be) for her greatest strength, you will learn the hard way that when you enter a staring contest with this woman, you have one of two fates: you will either run in fear with the knowledge that she can see right through you or you will fall in love with her for that very reason. She shines her light in the darkness and the dark things scatter or become light. She is sexy and knows what to do with it. She is witty, strategic, discerning and diligent. It's hard not to smile when you think of her. It's impossible not to want more of her the more you get.

All my life, people have told me how much I look like my mother. And all my life, I've felt so honored by the compliment. I endeavor to this day to deserve such a comparison. She had a few days a few days ago that were wrought with distress, anger and criticism--mostly directed toward me. As her voice echoes in my being at the slightest whisper, her words struck deep and sharp. And in that crushing moment, I felt a keen rejoicing at the sheer veracity of this woman. She fights even now. And even now, I would stand in the fire again in an instant, just to hear her voice.

There are so few moments in our lives when the Fates call us to attention. Life screams at you to stretch and adapt. To be humbled and to have hope. To gaze upon the light and reflect once more into our very being. Though the image of oneself can be daunting, fearful even, the message is not one of obligation, expectation or even transcendence. It is healing. A dying star brings healing.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 107

Mom has always wanted us to share her journey with as many as would listen that they could see the light that has touched each one of us.  I wasn't sure at first, about counting days. There was something about it that seemed too dark and finite a heading. And yet, January 26th, zero hour, the day of mom's diagnosis, the day the earth shook like my heart and time became something new.

Time seems even stranger now than when I first started counting days. El tiempo. Mi maestra. How can a force so constant seem so changeable? The answer is simple, I suppose. The change occurs within me.

If there is something I would share about this journey today, it is that today is the new day. Today is a day within each of us that can begin at any moment. Each day my mother remains with us is a new day. Hope is the light that breaks through the pressing reality of an uncertain tomorrow. Uncertain for us all. It seems that the light shines brightest as you near the darkest realities of time. 

I think I spend much of my time distracting myself from its passing whilst bemoaning my ability to keep it from ticking on. But, time is not an unconquerable foe. It is our anxiety of tomorrow that defeats us, not tomorrow itself. It is our regret about yesterday that keeps us from stepping forward into today. 

Please believe, I declare these things more to myself than to anyone. It is a lesson I am still learning from my mother. She understands the light of the moment with such a keen and sexy whimsy that she makes even the most demanding moment seem no greater than any other. While she can turn even the mundane into an unforgettable joy. 

Accidentally fabulous, I call it. But, of course, it's not accidental at all. If you have entered her home, you'll know what I mean. There is something so inviting and utterly delicious about walking into a space my mom makes. You can't quite explain, but you instantly feel a kind of warmth, then comfortable - like on your own couch in your cozy pj's on a Saturday afternoon comfortable, and then there is this ease in conversation wherein you find yourself being truly vulnerable and happy beside. 

That is her power over time. You feel safe and easy in the moment. Unconcerned with the future. Forgetful of the troubles that seemed to retreat at the door.

I'm not sure if I'll ever stop counting days. January 26th will always mark my time. But the most important thing about Day 107 is that it's today.