Saturday, April 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Julia Katherine

Today is my mother's birthday. I hadn't been gearing up to notice her birthday as it approached. It's just that I kept encountering the date today and each time I'd think, Huh, it's Mom's birthday, until I finally had to admit that I felt it. It's been a long time since she died. I know that because Duck was just a puppy when Mom was dying and now she's not. I didn't actually know she was dying but I knew she was failing and needy and clingy and unapproachable at the same time, and I felt a need for something needy that would respond with unconditional love so I got a puppy.

I miss her sometimes, Mom that is, not Duck who snores on the floor next to my bed at night and eats my animal crackers during the day, but my mother - tiny, mean, arrogant, judgemental, lonely thing that she was.

I know she wanted to be loved and touched and held as much as the rest of us. She just didn't know how to go about it. On the last night of her life I lay next to her in her bed while the music of Fleetwood Mac blared in the hospice room next door. She gripped my hand soundly and sweetly and I thought, See, it's not so bad to be held. Really, it's not so bad.

3 comments:

gawilli said...

This reminds me of another post of yours, from Judith..."If you possibly can, be there with me and hold my hand, so that I can feel your loving presence as I go."

They sent me home from the hospital the night my mother died. I received a call shortly after. I was probably the only one who didn't know it was coming. Perhaps some day I will be able to write about it.

Judith Shapiro said...

Oddly enough gawilli, you just did write about your mother. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Judy. I'm crying. I'm on my period, and i'm preparing to leave Missy tomorrow. It can't be that bad. I'm basement-sick. So basement-sick i needed to go to your blog. It did NOT help with the crying.... "animal" crackers...heehee...ok that helped.