Today is Mother’s Day.
Half an hour ago, eleven in the morning, ago Big A. picked up Little A. at my place. They are spending time with their mother and grandma in Brussels.
Princess also left earlier than usual this morning. Her kids wanted to surprise her. In the afternoon Princess is visiting her parents.
I am happy for my daughters, for my Princess, that they can still honor those whom have given them the most valuable gift of all. Life.
My Mother passed away on May 12, 2005.
Is it because I’m growing older? Is it for another reason I cannot grasp yet? The memories surfaced more vividly this time.
I cannot remember when it happened but somewhere in 2004 I got a call informing me my mother had fallen not far from where I live.
I was at home that day so I grabbed a coat and ran.
My mother was lying on the street. A small flock of rubbernecks trying to be important had gathered around her. She had tripped over a small irregularity in the height of the street pavements. My mother was in her eighties but most people thought she was in her sixties.
I knew better that to try and move her.
So I sat next to my mother, holding her hand, comforting her while she cried. There was nothing else I could do. I could tell she was in a lot of pain and it looked like her leg was broken.
Then the ambulance finally arrived. The put an inflatable tourniquet around her leg while she screamed.
It never healed really. It was a bad fracture just below the knee and my mom could not not produce enough calcium and all.
She was in an out the hospital. I used to visit her almost every day because the hospital was between my work and home.
My Ex, whom could not spent a day without calling her parents or hearing them, accused me of having an affair. It wasn’t the first time she accused me of fucking around.
Finally the doctors decided to implant a special prosthetic. It was something that was developed in Germany.
The evening before the surgery I picked up my mother. She did not want me to come in. In the hospital my mother and I made jokes about that German marvel. She hated the Germans because of her experiences during World War 2. ‘Once a German always a German’ was one of her favorite quotes.
My mother and I laughed when I told her I was pretty sure a swastika was engraved in the metal prosthesis.
Surgery was scheduled for the next day, May 12, 2005.
My sister and I kissed her, said encouraging words, goodbye. See you soon.
That sort of stuff.
Then we waited, nervous and worried, my sister and I.
Somewhere during the operation my mother’s heart stopped. I knew she had already severe problems with artery system in her legs. The surgery was too much for her already tired body.
I don’t think the doctors made much of an effort to resuscitate my mother. I even believe they did not try.
They made the right decision I’m sure. I knew my mother was fed up, tired, lost.
So I held my sister in my arms while she cried. We laughed with the memories we could come up with. I tried to be strong. Someone had to organize everything, think clear.
That evening my sister and I returned to the hospital in order to greet my mother. My sis did. I choose not to. My ex accompanied me but she was no comfort. She had never liked my mother, saw her as a concurrent while I was not a mother’s child at all. My mother hadn’t seen her grandchild’s much either. My kids did not like her by either my mother or me were to blame for that.
My sister and I then drove back to my mother’s place.
There where notes everywhere. On items telling us whom she wanted to give it to. Garbage was neatly packed in a sack with a note when they passed collecting it. And so on.
She had left her apartment clearly knowing she wasn’t coming back.
It was only then that I found release and I cried like I had never cried before.
May 12, 2006.
It had been a beautiful day. Sun is setting but it is still warm. The promise of a hot summer lingers in the sky.
My Sister, N. her girlfriend and I are sitting at the border of a small river. It is a place where my mother enjoyed a great childhood.
We pass the bottle of Sandeman Port, we drink, laugh and share memories. Port was what my mom loved drinking in those last, painful months. Maybe too much but fuck, whom are we to judge. Whatever brings relief, release, pleasure when the end is clearly nearby is okay with me.
The deep blue colored metal urn we are sitting around catches rays of sunlight. Sparkles.
The sun is descending, the day ending.
With my Swiss army knife I force open the seal. We are going to break several laws but I don’t give a damn. Strict laws are not a complete answer for everything.
I open the urn and I see light grey dust.
My sister and I descend the slippery slope. The water is brownish because of the iron embedded in the soil. I can’t imagine my parent’s let me swim in this river when I was a kid.
I close my eyes and for a moment I can see my mom, a little girl, enjoying herself with her brother in an era so far away. Jumping in the water. Yelling for the attention of her parents.
Perpetual motion. That is what life really is I think. We are born, grow up, fuck, make kids, die and then our kid grow up and fuck and make kids. Some of us will change the world a little, for the worst or the better. But for the most of us it is about being born, fucking, giving birth and dying.
With a swift motion I slowly empty half of the urn. The ashes are engulfed by the brownish water and ported to an unknown destination.
The I hand over the urn to my sister. She empties it. We say goodbye to my mother for ever. No grave to visit. We have granted my mother’s last wish.
Most of the afternoon I’ve been thinking about posting this or not. I don’t want to sound envious or drowning in self-pity.
I took care of my mother and I loved her albeit I guess liked her would be a more appropriate description.
To be honest I did not have that bound my sister had with her mother. Sure, I miss her, sure I do think of her once in a blue moon. But that’s it. There is no one to blame really.
When I drove back home after having dropped Little A. at her boarding school earlier this evening there was this spot along the road. I remember having parked my car briefly after having received a call from the hospital all wasn’t well.
Then I knew I had to post this.
Princess and I is my personal diary and so this post, about emotions, fragments of my past, is a relevant part of my life, my story.
Never ever forget to show your love. Never forget to say sorry or to make things good again. Live and enjoy your life at its fullest.
With a mere fillip it is all gone.