A True Account of My Mother’s Last Days
The answer that I love, the answer that I embrace, and that shows
what a big beautiful place the universe is: I don’t know.
A true account of my mother’s death would remark on how much of
her brain had died over ten years and also on what had lived: the words
of six hundred songs, her childhood with her sisters and mother, her
lost nickname that she called out days before, Popsie. A true account
of my mother’s death might include the last words, the only words she
wrote in a year: “it’s all good now” scratched lightly on a signature line
after long, silent concentration, denying humiliations and pain of the
body falling away.
It must include details of planetary motion and weather as much as
pulmonary embolism and dementia, must not omit the words blue, sky,
Sangre de Cristo, alpenglow, snow, happy, and love, must touch upon
suffocation but also upon breath, upon hand, grip, and reach. If I were
to be true to this account I would have to say sunset 5:06 December 31,
2008, and mean as well sunrise 6:03 July 8, 2008, when my father died,
for before my mother died she did say, “I will love you forever,” and she
did reach for him, and in fact, the turn of the earth that is the dawn
and dusk did balance as if two suns gazed face to face as if time doesn’t
last, only desire, only forever, as if her last words sky and blue and
happy were her story of her journey ahead.