Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Sort of Post Card

Hi Mom,

Guess what? Patrick got a HAIRCUT! I could hardly believe it, I almost cried! It's short, like, an actual men's haircut. He looks so handsome. It is so great to see his beautiful face. It's been so hard to see past the hair all this time, it's just gotten rattier since it grew out, and he never took very good care of it. His dad's new girlfriend inspired him, I hear. I'd like to give her a big hug. We went out for supper and made a Target run, and he talked about going to SUNY Poly and staying local for college after he finishes at MVCC in the fall. This made me feel so grateful after all that's happened this spring.

When Dad called on Saturday, we had just gotten on the Thruway. I thought he was just returning my call to confirm that your breathing had become labored and that there was still some time for us to get there to be with you. But, you were already gone. How many days was it, from diagnosis to Saturday? 41 days, about? Astonishing. Absolutely bewildering. I don't know how to express my appall; that my mother should have had to experience the agonizing deterioration that you did. Yet, as unjust as it was, I haven't fully realized the degree to which you suffered. I'm sorry your life ended in that way. You deserved a painless, peaceful passing. Your life, though modest and faithful, was not easy. I'm grateful that you didn't have to withstand one more day.

I know you wouldn't want us to be sad, and I know you know that we miss you and would rather have you here than gone. I can't rightly say that it has really hit me yet. Somehow in spite of myself, the  41 days leading up to Saturday have been balanced. When I wasn't with you or working, I was getting ready for Saturday, which was moving day, and we managed to get it done. Sunday was dedicated to regrouping, I was sore from lifting, tired from crying, and nothing was really making any sense so it was reasonable for us to take it easy and at least get the living room established. Yesterday I shored up and focused on other areas of the house, and then I went north for the evening and almost finished cleaning my apartment. There's always lots to do. You should see the butcher block table as my desk in the green dining room. I'm very impressed with it.

I'm sorry that you'll never get to see any of it. Friday night after I left hospice, I pulled out onto the road to a floating full moon. It was like a rice paper lantern. I realized that you would never see the moon again and then for the next 14 miles I cried. I cried about everything that you are going to miss, and you always noticed the sky. Last night it was so soft at sunset, pink clouds, muted golds, all sort of poured onto the pale blue; the trees, now fully leafed, softening the hills-- you would have thought it was lovely.

It's such a mystery, Mom, where you are. As I think ahead to calling hours and mass, I am half-expecting to see you there, but not really. You're in my brother and sisters, esoterically, so I guess that's where I'll look for you. There's so much more that I'll eventually say, but I'll close for now. I was really just writing tonight to tell you about Patrick's haircut. It's going to be a busy week-- I'm scheduled to have my hair trimmed, myself-- and I am sure it will pass faster than I'd like it to.

Talk to you later.