Tuesday, June 8

A timed writing

a la Natalie Goldberg - I'm supposed to write for ten minutes starting with "I remember" or "I don't remember" - give it a go if you want...here goes...


I don't remember the sound of my mother's voice. I had a recording of her voice on my answering machine wishing me a happy birthday 1 month before she died. After she died, I played that recording over and over and over again. A real ghost in the machine. Her voice was muffled like she was living under water, and I suppose she was. She was so drugged up that she was drowning. I remember that she had called me by my sister's name the last time I called her from work, when I was living in Toronto. Was that the last time I spoke to her? I got angry with her for mistaking me for my sister and not recognising it was the only daughter who called her every couple of days to check in on her. I was too young and too self absorbed to understand that her failing mind was the last beacon of a failing body and that she would be gone soon. I remember that on my graduation night, just weeks before her death, I told a friend that I was afraid she was going to die. If only I had known that the doctor had given her only a few months to live (which turned out to be weeks) I might have moved from fear to grief and prepared for goodbye. I remember that she could not attend my graduation. I ordered a video and it arrived just days before her death, but she never got to see it. She was either too weak or too technically illiterate to work the video player. I don't remember which. She never got to see me graduate from University. But, that is just the first in a long list of things she never got to see me do.

I don't remember what my last words were to my mother. I hope it was "I love you" but I fear it was not. I know we both know that we loved each other, but final words are important. I was on a plane when she died. I was trying to get home in time to see her, but I didn't make it. I remember waking up suddenly and the words "I love you" came to me. I remember I checked my watch and later I found that it was the time she died. I think it was me saying I love you to my mother, but maybe she was also saying it to me. I'd like to think so.



Ur-spo said...

try not to get wrapped up in the 'what ifs' and 'if only..' of past events. it will drive you crackers.

Send your mother some words now.

Pink said...

Good advice.

I actually talk to her all the time.

I'm going to start posting more regularly (she says) - using timed writing and photography practice quite often.

Lets see how it goes.

PS - did you go to Stratford/Shaw?


Ur-spo said...

I go as is the wont, at the end of August. It heralds the end of summer, and the arrival of autumn.