It was ten years ago...

September 4th, 2014, 7am

It was 23.9°C. The breeze was gentle.

It is ten years ago to the day.

Once, during the days of her last decline, when she was still conscious, she took my hand and let me touch the mass on her abdomen. It’s like that rock there… hard, severe, and I imagined it had its malignant tentacles firmly grasping her liver, her lung, her heart—that last one yes a thing of flesh, molecule, atom, but undefeated to the end.

Everywhere I look now, symbols—of death, within life; like that cracked, ash-gray surface of pond reaching to that stone… beyond which lies organic water, the kind from which we once upon a time crawled up to land.

Of the few material objects I still keep with me: the sky-blue blanket that kept mom warm, those days of her dying. When my sister gave it to me a few years ago I cried again after not having done so for years : a torrent of long-hidden rain there is nothing [no]thing like losing one’s mother / nothing

The blanket keeps me safe in my abject, perfect homelessness, as it is finally more than just a thing. It is a totem, it is a reminder, an amulet: in its gentle folds it wards off self-pity, it mocks the darkness, it yields to me dreams of dense and powerful meaning…

…like that rock this morning, on that pond. In its surreality it is all too real, and I welcome its portent.

10 years ago, with her last, parched breaths, my mother gave me a final lesson on what it means to be human: there is such a thing as dying well, and I aim to find mine, before memory and knowing runs dry.

Shu, Sanna, David Wade, Christine and 1 more said thanks.

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Lloyd Nebres

I lived in a village and homestead set aside for people of Hawaiian ancestry. I am not Hawaiian but had been adopted into the culture—to my profound gratitude.

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