The Sharp Knife of a Short Life

Mom

My mother died.

I don’t remember her, not on any conscious level. But her absence has been a void in my world that I…

I can’t even begin to express.

But the love she gave me, in her short life, all she got to live, before I was even really aware…

Has kept me alive.

Has made me a man who truly loves, and who can accept love.

Has kept me alive.

Has nurtured hope, even when I can’t make myself stand.

Has kept me alive.

I don’t even have a photograph of her. But I feel her smile in me. Life with her would have been so much goddamned better.

But she has kept me alive.

Mom, this song of the week is for you….

The Band Perry – “If I Die Young”

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Song of the Week for 9/11/2011

Live. Love. Breathe. Dance. Sing. Create. Follow your heart. And be there for people.

It’s too easy to lose each other. And time is always short.

 

Talking About Death With My Kid

Reading back through old journals, I found this from January 3, 2003:

Nathaniel really moved me this afternoon. He was “predicting” and predicted I’d die when I was 110. I said that sounded just fine to me, that’d be a good long life. He asked how old he’d be when I was 110. I said 78.

He said that’s when he would die, because he didn’t want to live longer than me. I insisted he had to live longer, at least past 100, and that it was natural for a parent to die before his child because the parent is older. He asked when I thought I would die, and I said I had no idea, but I hoped it’d be a long, long time.

He gave me a very close hug.

Taken By The Wind (A Personal History, Part 4): The Sound of Her Wings

Death is always with me.

I think I first met her Christmas Eve, 1965. I was still a season short of two years old, living in Missouri with my mom who had fled back to her parents’ home to escape my father’s jealousy and rage. My mom’s name was Linda, and she was 16.

She was working that night, I think waitressing or as a cashier…it’s been decades since I heard the story, and have no one to ask now. But I do think she was working in a restaurant of some sort. And she took a ride home with a coworker. Home to spend Christmas with her family. With her baby. With me.

She never got there. Another driver–I think it was a woman–slammed into the car and my mom was ripped from my life forever.

I don’t remember her. I vaguely recall photos of her, but have none, as they’re in my father’s possession and I’m years out of contact with him. She was a cute young Italian girl with a nice smile and lots of long dark hair.

For most of my youth, I didn’t realize the impact her death had on me, except for the fact it put me in the path of a couple of incredibly damaging step-monsters, and left me in the hands of my mean-ass drunken father.

But as far back as I can recall, my greatest fear has been the loss of a loved one. Continue reading