Wednesday, October 20, 2010

With This Ring.....

My mothers wedding band slipped off her finger today. She has never taken it off in 60 years. Though she no longer remembers my father or her wedding day, I hold tight to my belief that in her dreams at night...everything is possible.
She is a ghost of her former self. Tiny and shrunken, she appears smaller and smaller every time I see her. Her connection to this world is slipping away. I wear her ring today and will keep it for her until it is put back on for the last time.

In the year of their courtship and engagement, my parents wrote daily to one another. I have a shoebox full of letters tied in satin ribbon that follows the course of their connection to each other. 730 letters in all, some of which the contents make me blush and in reading them, I feel as though I am violating some sacred space shared only between the two of them.
After the accident, which claimed her right arm, I would see my mother grimace as the phantom pain of that lost arm would keep her up at night walking the floor. I would hear my fathers soft murmur as he tried to give comfort. In my life, my mother has never spoken of that loss. She'd shrug her shoulders and say when I would question her..."you just move forward".

Upon my fathers death, my mother faced the ensuing days with strength, humor and yankee matter of factness. It was only at night that I would hear her quietly weeping behind her closed bedroom door.

I search for connection with each visit. As she moves farther and farther away, I hold tighter to my bond with friends and family. That she is dying has become clearer this Fall. No amount of knowing this one true fact, makes the loss any more bearable. I wear her ring today, a slender gold connection to a life lived, to a father I miss so much and to the family I was born into. I move forward and know that in time, I will be able to remember her for who she used to be.

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