Friday, November 13, 2009

Winding Safe to Sea

“We are not sure of sorrow,
And joy was never sure:
To-day will die to-morrow;
Time stoops to no man’s lure;
And love, grown faint and fretful,
With lips but half regretful
Signs, and with eyes forgetful
Weeps that no loves endure,

“From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives forever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.”
- Homer, The Odyssey

I can see my mom on the resting on the couch one autumn afternoon like today when she was dying of cancer and I went to stay a few days to say goodbye. Dad asked her what she was doing and she replied: I’m fucking dying over here.

I wasn’t there when Mom finally died. One year later, I went to visit Dad to be with him on the anniversary of Mom’s death. Thus, I was there when Dad died, suddenly and without time to for either of us to be afraid. From hope and fear set free.

All these years later, there are few tears left to cry, and even thinking of them brings only a gentle tap of sorrow, like the velvet feet of my cat walking over me and waking me early this morning. There are few words left to say either, about how wonderful they both were and how idyllic our childhood home was.

Time dilutes sorrow. As loss recedes into the past, it slowly becomes buried beneath the present, like M-in-M’s back garden now covered in fallen leaves. But somehow, the memories remain – most of them are good, and many are profane.

No life lives forever, but I still miss you, Mom and Dad.

6 comments:

greeny said...

*sigh* That is good stuff...

chaiselongue said...

This is a very moving tribute to your parents, expressing much of what I feel about mine ... thank you! The memories are always there, under the fallen leaves.

oldcrow61 said...

This is beautiful.

Les said...

Makes me glad I called my parents last night to announce some trivial celebration. I will see them soon.

Jane said...

Whatever one's relationship with their parents, I suspect they will always miss them. I was lucky enough to have a wonderful connection with my mother. My father is 90 and is bowing out gracefully (and wittily!) I have been so blessed.

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