Friday, April 06, 2007
With Help From Death Cab For Cutie
And it came to me then that every plan
Is a tiny prayer to father time
As I stared at my shoes in the ICU
That reeked of piss and 409
And I rationed my breaths as I said to myself
That I’ve already taken too much today
As each descending peak on the LCD
Took you a little farther away from me
Away from me
Moment by moment, electric panic would intermittently shock me into action. Maybe at first I’d check into flight costs and times. Then later I’d call friends and family, maybe for support, maybe for advice, maybe to call in favors. In between the shock, I felt the pull of every wave of time pulling my mom further from me, knowing every moment I was helpless, like a leaf on a stream, being pulled further from her tree. Only, my mom was the leaf, and I… I was the tree. I was the one with roots and connections, I was the one holding firm and supporting everyone around me. Surreal. Unreal. Unbelievable.
Amongst the vending machines and year-old magazines
In a place where we only say goodbye
It stung like a violent wind that our memories depend
On a faulty camera in our minds
And I knew that you were a truth I would rather lose
Than to have never lain beside at all
And I looked around at all the eyes on the ground
As the TV entertained itself
And suddenly, it’s not my mom’s life passing before my eyes, but all the roads not taken between us. The words I didn’t say. The words she couldn’t say. The anger between us. The hurt, the endless depths of wounds long untended, it surfaced over and over as I thought of all the things I didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, say or do. And now. Now it was going to be too late. And yet. And yet, in that blemished moment of anguish, the imperfect wrongness, there is this blistering pocket of… gratefulness. Odd, isn’t it? Ready to pop at any moment and flood over all the rest of the hurt and the frustration, the pain and the disappointment, ready to balm it all and remind me that I loved her, I fucking loved her even when I hated her, and she loved me, too, no matter how much she felt I wronged her.
Her creamy pale skin and the darkness of her straight, thin hair. Her dark, opaque eyes, eyes that never gave away anything. I remember how beautiful she was. I remember her looks of determination, even if I don’t remember many smiles. I remember her creative inspiration and talent… talent she shoved angrily away and hid for reasons I never will fathom… and if that didn’t quite cover the fact that she didn’t hug me, she didn’t pull me into her lap and press her nose into my hair and stroke my cheek, well, at least I can recognize what was there, and forgive what wasn’t.
‘Cause there’s no comfort in the waiting room
Just nervous pacers bracing for bad news
And then the nurse comes ‘round and everyone lift their heads
But I’m thinking of what Sarah said
That love is watching someone die
And what do you do? What do you do when you know there’s no hope? What do you do when there’s no point in keeping fingers crossed, because the best, the very best you can hope for is a peaceful passing? What do you do when all you want is to get there before it’s too late, knowing it won’t happen, it can’t happen? Should I be grateful I didn’t see her hooked up to machines? Should I be glad I didn’t feel her skin burning hot, the last of her life’s fire sizzling away, too hot to be contained, too early gone out? Should I thank the Gods that I didn’t have to see her weak and fragile, hateful for being that way, wanting nothing more than to be left alone? I’m not.
I’m crushed. I’m very, very sad that I couldn’t say the last things to her, even if she wouldn’t want to hear them. Even if she couldn’t have heard them. I may not have found comfort, but instead of dissatisfied frustration, I’m sitting here with painful regret. Love. Is. Watching. Someone. Die.
And I couldn’t even do that for her.
I’m sorry, Mom. I love you, always. I forgive you, I hope that somehow, in some way, you will have found a way to forgive me for falling short of you.
So who’s gonna watch you die? So whos gonna watch you die
Krush at 04/06/07 11:27 AM
OMG sweetie I am so sorry. Lots of love and big hugs for you. I have tears in my eyes as I type this for you and your family.
Erica at 04/08/07 01:42 PM
My heart breaks for you, sweet Liberty. Know that I’m thinking of you and praying for you and hugging you! (((hugs)))
Desiree at 04/12/07 12:59 PM
Liberty, Hugs to you… it is very good that you can write about this… share and in doing so take care of some of your need to express this situation and the feelings it has stirred in you.
I read this with mixed emotion too as I have a very fractured relationship with My own Mother… haven’t spoken for 16 months… I don’t even know what I’d say if we spoke… I only know I don’t want to go back and rehash… only move forward. Family relationships… they can be so complex and difficult, so warm & wonderful…