Little bit of context?
Writing about this chapter in my life, her life, is always difficult but never the less therapeutic. I hold on to the beautiful parts of my mom like how she loved dressing up but with no where to go, her ‘you only live once’ attitude when it came to impulsively buying shoes that she’d wear right out of the store, the joy and love she had for holidays, and music, and slow dancing with herself in a dimmed living room with a glass of wine. Sometimes the not so great time, when she was dying, slithers to the fore of my mind and knock loose feelings and details I usually keep behind a wall. I was recently having a conversation about religion and people, and the state of my faith (all of which I won’t get into now. Maybe another time), and it triggered this memory of my mom saying that although the doctor was very concerned, it could just be an ulcer she had. So there was hope and I prayed and prayed and prayed. All night and morning. She came home crying and said it was cancer. She didn’t cry after that and to be strong for her, I didn’t cry either. Even long after the funeral I didn’t cry until I broke down.
The night before the morning she passed, my dad and I were so exhausted that we fell asleep while he was driving, veered off road but luckily he woke in time. When I got into bed I spoke to her. She was in the hospital but I talked as though she was right beside me running her fingers through my hair. I’ve always felt my moms love for me throughout my entire existence. Even when it came to accepting minuscule parts of me that many in society would want to define me solely by. Stick a label on me. Judge me. Etc. So I knew in my heart and soul what anchored her in that pain riddled body that once chased life. I whispered before dozing off, “I’ll be fine.” When I woke, my dad and aunts were in my room and I already knew why.
I prayed like never before for an ulcer.
On soft, aching knees I dribbled desperation
to the Christian God, to the Horned One,
and Hecate for a reprieve, for forgiveness,
a miracle…worth bargaining for with my soul. Oh
anything, anything else but that bomb –
indiscriminate destructor of body, and home,
turning futures into ash when detonation starts in the colon
savaging a path to the liver, to the brain,
obliterating memories and speech until another prayer.
A tired promise that I’ll be fine releases her
from cancer’s blight –
after one final sunrise.