Hang it in your heart.
January 24, 2011
Someone told me recently that the body remembers, even if the mind has forgotten.
I remember this day in 2010 with everything I am.
It was a morning just like this one when the funeral home wheeled my mom out of the front door on a gurney: not too hot, sunny, green. I didn’t watch. It was enough that I had been with her in her last moments, holding her long slim hand with lovely nails. Do you remember those hands, those perfect nails? Just a few days before, she had asked me to file them for her, and I had. Just a few days before, she was sketching and listening to music and making me get up every hour to unhook her oxygen, wheel it out of the room, and light her a cigarette.
I am deeply grateful for every moment we spent together but I do have one big regret: I wish that I had spent more time making art with her. Now that I think about it, we did spent quite a bit of time making art, though it might not have been of the kind you hang on the wall, more of the kind you hang in your heart.
Then she fell asleep and didn’t wake up. Jenny stayed awake with her that last night while I tried to get some rest. Then Jenny left to take her girls to school and I sat there with my mom, holding that soft, beautiful hand.
“If you need to go ahead and go, you can,” I told her. “I don’t want you to but you can if you want.”
For once in my life, she listened to me. I hang that moment in my heart.