We spent the whole day at the hospital today.
Luckily, not because anyone’s sick, but because Artie had the boys come in to be extras in a commercial he’s shooting.
It’s the first time I’ve stepped foot in a hospital since the day I helped Mama leave one for the hospice.
Which, coming to think of it, was exactly two years and two days ago, on February 28.
There was a lot of hope on that day.
For a gentler place.
For fewer drugs.
For more comfort.
For the acknowledgment of her dying and her dignity.
For her own sheets and blankets from home.
For a turn-around of any kind.
Not one of these hopes was dashed.
She was able to savor one piece of poppy cake all on her own in the dining room.
Afterward she walked down the hallway to her room alone.
She enjoyed one breakfast roll the next morning.
Then she was overcome by the terror of all these being lasts.
One of the small streets I walked to the hospice for ten days was called Hedwigstrasse.
Hedwig was my mother’s mother.
Coming upon that street sign I was struck by its wonder and significance. I told Mama about it. If she found it wondrous and/or significant, these were a wonder and a significance she wanted nothing to do with then.
She didn’t want to go where Hedwig had gone before her.
She wanted to stay with us.
Nevertheless, exactly two years ago today she knowingly and bravely said her last good-byes to Lysle, Micah and Artie who had to go back home to Brooklyn. We all knew she’d never see them again, nor they her. I don’t know how Mama did it, but she did not cry.
For the boys’ sake.
I cannot imagine the monumental effort this took.
For her children and their children she remained as strong as sunlight.
It follows that her death cast a very large and very dark shadow.
A shadow that I’m trying to start illuminating from within.
Thank you to all readers of anerika for supporting this new shedding of light.