When I was a kid I would have dreams where I would come home and my parents were gone and new people lived in my house. I would be told that my parents had moved and forgot to tell me. Other times I would be told my mom had died and my dad was on one of his yearly trips to Mexico to take care of lands he holds there. I would wake up crying. A heaviness on my chest scared me because it would be sitting there making breathing n swallowing hard. I would get up and look for my mom.
Yesterday she barely spoke. The last thing I heard from her was telling my daughter "I love you too." We knew it would happen any day, but she had surprised us for so long. It would have been a week without eating on Monday. For an 80 yr old full of cancer that is impressive.
This morning I felt a shock in the middle of my chest. Seconds later my father called and said it was getting real bad. He hadn't slept all night, she was throwing up most of the night. She was losing her voice and sight. I jumped up and jumped in the shower. It's like a reflex to shower in the morning. Half asleep, sick, hungover, tired, I just end up in my shower. It heals me and readies me.
When I got out of the shower my father called and said she had left us. I went to tell Q who was still asleep. 13 yr olds need at least 12hrs of sleep and she really takes advantage of that when she stays with me ever since I told that little bit of science. I was dressed n ready to go. She decided to stay at my place, her great grandma and uncle live next door, she would be fine.
I have made the drive from the Eastside to my parents house thousands of times in every possible state of mind and sometimes out of my mind. It's very easy, the far right lane on that 5 to the 10 west takes me straight off the freeway at Los Angeles street. Two lights, left onto Main, to 28th and I'm home. This time the tears were like none before. I remembered those dreams of my childhood. This time I knew my mom wouldn't be there but my dad would and we would be starting a new way of life. He as a widower me as a son without a living mom. Is there a term for people like me?
I burned the sage I had rubbed on her the day before. The smoke filled the room and rose up as her soul did just minutes earlier. I imagined my grandma, her mom, was here to help her in the end. The smoke followed them up, or over, or on to wherever they are now, which is definitely better than here where they had both had rough final days.
We called hospice care, a funeral home and my cousin Lucy who had cared for mom like she was her mom. She is like my distant sister. My father called the comadre and people started arriving. I texted work and friends who had helped me. Told work I needed at least a day. Haven't taken any calls.
Everyone is gone now. They picked up her body. My dad is finally getting some sleep. He says he maybe got an hour in last night. I gotta wake him in two hours. He doesn't want to sleep more, he wants to sleep at night. Lucy is here, we are listening to the Platters that my mom would play for me when I was a kid.
The comadre wants to host a rosario at her house. Mom didn't want anything. No one to see her, no funeral, no services. Others have said services are for the living. I see that, but at the same time why pray for someone you know was good and went to a good place? I can see if the dead were jerks and needed people to pray/put in a good word to get them to a good place.
I'm writing to process. I tell my students if u can't say it, u can't write it. For me if I can't write it, I can't handle it. I've been told all week to stay strong. Can I be weak now?
Of course there is some relief in knowing my mom is no longer hating life. Good memories hurt to remember. Pictures bring those memories. The music playing reminds me of dancing with her. I couldn't dance with her no more in the end.
My dad's first words to me when I got here were "Ahora estamos solitos." He has ten brothers n sisters. I have none.
This is my life. I'm grateful for it. For the parents I had/have. Gracias por la vida y las vidas que crusan la mia. Ojala que tenemos mucho mas a~os. Healthy n happy.
Tomorrow my father and I will go to a sweat ceremony together for the first time. New life.