Who knew a thought alone could trigger deep breaths, a pounding chest, a rapid heart rate?
Imagining a life without my mother is like trying to
Comprehend that the universe is expanding and yet it has no edge.
Statistics tell me that I will probably wake one morning
to breathe air that has not passed through my mother's lips and come back out
with the sweet sticky smell of chunky peanut butter and whole wheat bread.
But it doesn't compute,
Like a clunky graphing calculator coming up with ERR: SYNTAX.
I lack the experience necessary to go through life without a fixer.
I was brought up to think that my mother was superhuman despite the failing knee and elbow, shrinking muscles, and the never finished lists written each morning before dawn on the yellow legal pad.
She is a woman whose fragile, disintegrating, diamond ring belies the strength of her hands to hold up the world, solve the problems that perplex the rest of us, and take the blame for what we should be ashamed of.
A life with a mother means that nothing can ever be irreparably broken.
Fear can never plunge into my stomach and radiate paralysis like nuclear waste,
Guilt can't drag me down like crocs in thick summer mud,
Ignorance can't have permanence,
and there is no life-long anguish.
But with absence, all bets are off,
because a mother is a fixer
and once she is gone, who is there to fix that?
And I may be learning my independence and to fall on my sword and truly feel my hurt or guilt or shame,
but I am not ready to die.