My Mothers passing: 22 years ago.
By her son.
Winds hitting seldom higher velocity for this time of year in Cleveland Ohio USA. It is as if her spirit is paying a visit after two decades leaving at the time of her leaving mere humanity. She was not a violent woman except for her steely-eyed glare that often caused apprehension in most others. She so flatly encouraged my elder sisters and I to speak our minds, share our thoughts, but most of all, respect others for the same. Though she did teach us to never give up, over the decades, I have often questioned her true meaning of this. My Mother taught us to make others see our points usually displayed from point=prick pupils and the firmest of chins, aimed at those differing from us to make them see things our way.
I feel my mother returning this nite more than any other in the last 22 years since her death from small cell lung cancer, diagnosed a mere grouping of days after my second daughter was born.
I stepped out to buy her memory a Budweiser from the corner store. I wish to toast her when midnight hits. <<<Is the exact time and place so important?>>>
Leaving the safety of my porch, I am hit by slashing leaves, pamphlets of various languages and branches on this chilled October night. Papercut-like things cut my exposed flesh causing blood trails. I am good with this. Sandy is nailing Jersey and Manhattan. My friend Sandy is coming home. I wish I were there to meet her. Between her and I, it has been a long time. I am sorry, Sandy….
I stop for a moment and toss my arms out. Down the road, a transformer explodes with the sharpest of blue lighting, trees and dwellings take weird glows. Tiny time hits as microwaves, lighting and television goes dark. Descending those around me into darkness after candles held sway. To a time when what we see is really what there is to see.
. I walked to the still electrified store for a 24 Bud, I pay the man as others speak to me about the harsh winds blowing this night.
“It’s just my mother, nothing you need to fear, ” I tell them, venturing out into what most would call gloom and darkness. “Some souls don’t go easily. A few go hard in their wishing for us to remember them. Sorry if this hurts you. It is my Mother coming home. Her name is Marion.”
My Mother was a hard woman. She was strong in all repsects, never displayed weakness in any regard anything more than superficial fault on her behalf. She always stood proud regardless of how late she was no matter why. And we, her children, stood with her. I suppose it mattered little if we were in the church or our dinning room, she’d share something about being tardy, and the majority accepted this.
Very soon after my grandfather died in the mid 1970’s during an xmas vacation, I flipped time frames. I went from being awake in the day to living in the blackness to the night.
My mother and I shared many an odd moment as we listened AM talk radio as we sipped coffee across a dimly lit wooden kitchen table. She’d sometimes ask me if I were thristy, raising my head, I’d ask for a glass of English tea.
English tea: American version: Take two teabags of Teatly, let themsteep in boiled water for at least five minutes in a Jiffy Peanut Butter jar, yank the bags, and add full milk and sugar to make such a heavenly thing.
“Mom, my stomach hurts,” I so small a child I’d say.
“Of course it does. Just take a drink, “ her calm voice spoke.
My mother did do so much for others. She told a closet-leaving lesbian to stop shooting at her husband as she walked between barrel and targer. .This happened some Sunday night in the 1970’s as the All the Family played and gunshots rang out between hourses.
Back in the days when I was married, her and I had mutual parties that found man and woman relations to be extremely painful. They had never fully reached full event, but were worried about their honeymoon.
` Christ knows, my mother was the TV Show HOUSE character of her time. She so could give objective thinking with so little regard to how others took her thoughts. She was so brave that way. She often offended many except those of smaller mind procresseses which viewed her as being huge.
My mother went huge! I think my sister Holly has a tiny aspect of moms financial abilities which go enormously beyond what my other sister or myself had then. Mom somehow saw things and guided my father as he retired. She saw how dad should take a single payout from LTV =, the Liars, theives and vultures at the Republic Steel Corp buy out.
Had times been different before her passing, I know she would have been some monitary mogul living decades past her.
I remember my mother going down sled hills with me. So cold these days with a pisspoor 55 gallon drum for heat against the harshest of a 5 degree day. I’d lay upon her back, my arms stretched under her. Brisk air, violent bumps the spray of frigid snow hitting my face.
What roads would you walk to see your mother once again? To look into her face? To wish to hug her body once again?
To Drop yourself to your knees and perhaps ask for forgiveness?
Where would you go?
“Mark, Please come to the office,”
I went to the office. I knew my mom was dead. I heard my wifes voice quiver and crackle thru the headset. I got her message and told her I loved her.
I cannot remember how many people I passed while I hit the lockerroom to change clothes. What did it really matter after all? I knew my mother to be dead, her so to be somewhere else.
As I hit the door to the time clock, it was as if I was crossing under a grouping of outstretched arms under me. The words they spoke sounding positive, unthreatening, and totally lost on me then.
Crossing Timmy, a young driver I liked, stopped his truck by my side. “ What’s up, Mark?”
“My mom is dead, Tim.”
Tim locks the truck up and flies from its cab. “I am so sorry, Mark….”
“don’t be. She has no pain anymore….”
Driving the Ford LTD wagon my wife and I owned then, every fucking thing seemed to surreal. Going from the on ramp from east 55 off the marginal, the gulls, crashing waters by CPP, nothing looked similar at all.
I leave the freeway at some point off a nearby ramp I have no memory of which it was.
Lock the car and begin to walk now on total mental AutoPilot.
To the flashing enter here lights, red against browns and blacks….
Automatic Doors open before me, I stroll through. A couple of sad faces hit me. He is wearing a pale brown two piece suit, her donning a dark green dress to highlight her red hair. In pain, these two share with their faces. Clamping down hard to what I walk toward, I ask: “you folks okay?”
Off guard, the woman says,”his mother just died…”
“then he’s in good company….”
As we begin to slay hurt, pain, the beginners think. To those of us with background, this merely takes us further down paths less traveled and still important.
Talk about life flashing before your eyes. If you have never felt such an event, than you have never skied and hit a tree nor having worried about an outcome of your kids as they hit 10-15 foot ramp and its failed landing and they smashed in icy wall.
I walked down hallways to mothers room. Taking an elevator to correct floor, I saw the grey wall most familiar as the stainless doors opened. Room numbers placed on colored paper aiming those needing direction. I exited it, going the opposite way from mom, I met a wall, nose first and a kind RN asked me if I needed proper course.
Holding nose, bleeding freely, I told her I had misstepped, taken a wrong turn.
I fixed my aim. Passing those in wheelchairs on O2, staff pushing them to various places, some laughing, others crying, far too many blank of expression, I wondered where my mother would be….
I entered my moms rooms, alone.
I stopped before her bed, gasping.
“momma, I’m here.”
Nothing. No response. No chest movement leading to air intaike.
I step toward her, slowly, desperately waiting for some of life to call me an idiot to shine from her.
‘she can’t be dead. No way no how.’
‘With ever glance at my mother I also noticed a window to her back right. It was opened about 6-8 inches. If fully opened, it could fit some my si…..’
I stepped to my silent mother, looking at the window.
Two feet from the woman that gave me life, I am freaking out and losing it.
‘I can get out that window so easily. I Know I can…..’
Inches away, I do think about killing myself when seeing my mother. I gave her a kiss on the forehead.
How can caressing human skin be so cold?
I look down with lips so chilled.
Her face, locked. Her eyes frozen behind closed lids.
Far worse than biting into aluminum foil paper. There is a small space that exists in the tiniest parts of us that slay pain and hurt for the benefit of others down the road. A space so small in modern life, that some…..
WAKE UP, MA!
Damn it mother, don’t leave me…..
The window smiles at me. Carrying whitish curlings like lips rising higher. AS if saying to me: “Take the Nestea Plunge! DO IT!”
Then some female enters the room. I wish I could say what she wore or her hair colour. That’s okay as the decades grant me less and less at every turn of my past.
She asked me if I was okay and if there was anything she could do for me. Her tone I do remember so vividly. This woman carried a tone so smooth and choral, if you will, shot me in the heart, stopping me from throwing my body out a window.
It was at that point I heard a most audible ‘SNAP!’ sound. I know it was born in my head alone, and that my mind had created it.
When you read or hear about other people losing their minds and hearing some sound like a ‘tree-branch snapping, quickly tearing newspaper, or the <BEEEDUNK!!” chimes of a declined debit card, you might want to believe them nuts. There is a point when the human brain crosses barriers. The precipitant subjects sense this, know this, and live on it. They can grow and flourish on this. Too bad so many dismiss this crossing over of a terminator as a full-fledged jaunt into insanity.
There was a ‘SNAP!’ in my head. Christ, I wish I could convey the speedy spirals that made this occur in me. I am sure this goes back to my father and I trying to find my mother a good death-place. My father and I spent a week to find her a nice place to die.
NICE PLACE TO DIE!!!!!!!
I AM SUCH A FUCKING COCKSUCKER!!!!
This Is my mother…..
Did it matter back then as you helped your father? Mark, He needed you to by his side. He needed a man next to him. His child. His son. Did you think for a moment you weren’t strong for him? Mark, Please, hear us, stop this…. You stood by your father, Mark. Your mother knows this.;.. You’ve nothing to prove. Mark, for some sake, hear us!!!! You found your mom a gentle place to die. Granted the minister of her church infuriated your sisters with his words saying, with so little knowledge of her life, that she’d lived a ‘full life’.
Mark, your mother loved you. You did what you could with your dad as your mother was dying. Sorry she died angry, but her anger was not with you. Mark, no were little else than a car crash witness. You saw it, smelled it, and fuck you, made it a part of you.
‘You should know by now I’m not going away, Mark.’
“What happy things do remember about your mo-mo-mo-mo-mother?” these voices echoe through my head. I more often than not awaken in the chilled grip of night sweats, my bare limbs covered in persperation, my tiny pillow drenched.
Being an asshole during such splendor, I usually say something to the affect of: “M-muthurrrr wuzzzz a prit flllluer.”
These educated fools would say crap like: “Very nice, why is that?”
I so loved cracking their heads in two when I said she was a homicidal maniac responsible for at least twenty deaths as a result of poor economic planning. Well, that or a hasty gardening accident.
My mother was no murderer. But she did teach me in areas of humanity. She taught me the how to manipulate, to become perceptive and exploitive, and the value those things can bring.
Mom, I miss you and dad.
If you have a sense of me, mom, we’ll hit Bakers Motel when I meet you. I soooo loved giving you a near heart attack as I dove into the deep end when you couldn’t see sis with the life preserver.
I could cry, but I somehow think that would mean nothing to you, Mother.
Your son, Mark William Darus
I hope you are proud of what I have I done with my mind and what I see. I give these freely as instructed. .
I miss you.