Since the time I put two paragraphs together my mother was always there coaching me on. I can’t remember a single time she wasn’t bragging about even the tiniest of my achievements. There is a lot to be said of a mother’s pride. No matter the venture, no matter the crazy idea, mom was always there to be the ultimate cheerleader.
January 12, 2016 at 0200 in Victorville, CA, my cheerleader left the game. The event was sudden and without warning, though part of me looks back and feels that she knew all along. As a nurse I’ve heard stories of patients who could pinpoint the date of their death; some seemed fairly healthy and would simply exclaim, “I’m going to die tonight.” And they would.
Though mom did not make a big announcement of her impending doom, I’m still convinced she knew. The signs were there, I just didn’t see them. On her Facebook page, only two days before, she posted a link on how women perceive heart attacks differently than men; the biggest clue was women said they have heart burn. Well guess what mom complained of the next two days? She begged and begged and begged me to write a story about The Girl Who Danced for the Man on the Moon. Of course I complained that the title was too damn long. But I asked her why she was so emphatic about that story and she replied, “I envision a woman who just regained her strength, dancing for a man who is on the moon. She knows he’s there, and he watches her from a large telescope, but she doesn’t know he’s watching.” I asked if there was religious implications, given mom was one the best Christian women I knew, and she said, “I see myself dancing for God, and I know he’s there, but I don’t always know if he’s watching.” Unfortunately, I never got around to writing that story for her.
However, mom asked for a poem, and I explained that I wasn’t much of a poet. Three days before her passing she said, “Write a poem about not being able to put the rose petals back on a rose.” Weary of her constant requests I told her I would give it a try, but not to expect miracles. As I looked at my phone today, I realized I had written that poem for her only hours before she had passed. I was going to have it printed out on a picture and frame it for her . . . that time will never come, but mom got her poem out of me. I’ll post it as a stand alone blog. Again, I looked at the words behind the poem, about the loss, the memories, and about beautiful things in life that cannot fixed, and I think of mom. I think how she loved everything I did even when I hated them. I think how her own death has given me the opportunity to write about loss in my fiction, and be able to pour my heart and soul into the words.
The end has not found my mother yet. She will continue to live on so long as I write. My experience in saying goodbye will be her legacy in print.
Tania L Ramos, BSN RN