Finally, Peace…

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The accident happened on Thursday afternoon. Woman vs. vehicle, and she didn’t fare well. I was at my mom’s bedside for the last four days, waiting for her to take her last breath. Every day I thought would be her last. But then the machines would continue to track her vitals, showing me how wrong I was. Her heart was beating strong and consistent. “Healthy as a horse!” came to mind. How ironic, though, being healthy, she got clocked by a truck. She did all that exercise for nothing. Her lungs, on automatic, pushed oxygen through her body as if she were still alive. But her mind was gone. Mutti was brain-dead. It was time for her to check out, but her heart betrayed her and kept pumping. Her DNR was useless. Life screwed her yet again.

It felt like she was staying alive for no other reason than for me to work through some issues. I guess that was a good thing. The staff always shook their heads in amazement. “She shouldn’t still be breathing.” they’d say. I put the TV on to pass the time. The kind nurses gave me blankets and a pillow to get comfortable, to check-in for the long haul. 

She finally died. It was Monday, shortly after midnight. Her evil heart finally stopped beating. Odd though, the air felt calm. That was a new sensation. Having been there so many days already, the efficient hospital staff worked to get the last papers signed. It was sweet how they didn’t seem to want to impose on me further. They instinctively knew with it being the wee hours of the morning; exhaustion was setting in. The previous events had taken their emotional, mental, and physical toll. 

I said my goodbyes to Mutti, took the last picture of her in the bed, even cried, then turned and walked away. Passing through the hospital door out into the parking lot was a bit surreal, but it was okay. It was like a chapter had come to an end, and I was eager to read the next page. And I was calm.

At 3 AM, the keys jingled rather loud in the door lock of my mother’s home. I hoped the neighbor wouldn’t wake up with the racket. I was feeling more and more drained. All I wanted to do was sleep, but opening that door gave me the opposite of what I so desperately needed. 

I’d not seen my mother in ten years, nor had I ever been to her apartment. It was strange walking through the front door. The room felt tight with clutter and dust, and paper everywhere. I sighed and hesitated in proceeding into this unknown territory. The knickknacks lining the ledge above the fireplace had a thick layer of grey fuzz. Only knowing my mother as a neat freak, I didn’t expect that. I was shaking my head in disbelief that my mom had lived here. It was so unlike the woman I remember growing up with; she was neurotic about vacuuming every day. She even straightened the fringes on the Persian carpet in the living room if it crushed a little to the side. Even the guests in our home felt uncomfortable as soon as they walked into her clinical space. This home was nothing like I remembered in my childhood. My mom lived here in this mess and filth?

The longer I lingered in the doorway, the more the childhood memories flashed back. All the mind games my mom played rushed back into my head, almost tensing my body in response. Self-preservation – an instinct, I guess. Yet, I still couldn’t quite understand experiencing a feeling at ease along with the adrenaline coursing through my body, especially in this filth. 

I was feeling disgusted, seeing every room had piles of paperwork. After a quick skim, I could tell each had a kind of organized storage system. Mutti kept papers, receipts, and records of every kind. Each type of paperwork had its pile. There were even handwritten arguments with the neighbor. Almost like a visual paper trail of every step of her lifetime, documented and preserved in a heap, by date. It was apparent Mutti’s anal tendencies still ruled her in her later years. They had deepened to a degree of sick, the beginnings of illness I’d not noticed in my youth. She was weird back then, but this was extreme. 

I found documents going back to 1941, and not only the ones you should always keep like a birth certificate or a marriage certificate. When I look back, I couldn’t understand how Mutti hid this during my childhood. It seemed she went off her rails in the last few years. Fascinating and creepy, all at the same time. And yet, I was still calm.

Did she wish I’d visited more? My guess is no. She wouldn’t have wanted me to know how off things had become in her life. Me visiting would have exposed her behavior. I’m sure she understood I would recommend she get some help. 

But I doubt I would have ever come to North Carolina anyway, even if she’d asked. I made an emotional break from her grip years before I’d stopped visiting. I had had enough pain managing the aftermath of my upbringing. Her bad habit of adding fuel to any fire made me tired of getting burnt. The sooner I cut ties, the better for me. When I left, I didn’t look back. 

Being here, amidst all this clutter, I finally realized she had always been the chaos. And she was no longer here to do damage. In my youth, as in this apartment, I was in the eye of the storm. Surrounding me was the disarray, but in here, in this hole, she was gone, and everything was going to be okay. 

I was going to be okay.

I Write Her Weekly Haiku/Senryu Challenge #41

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Welcome back to my weekly challenge. It’s time to get your creative juices on again!
So tell me, how would you interpret this image above?

Rules

PLEASE follow them! I’d hate to not see your piece(s) represented in the recap the following week! Confused? Any questions – email me at sushibocks@gmail.com   

For more detailed information, read about this challenge here.

  • Create a standard three line 5/7/5 syllable count haiku/senryu
  • Deadline to submit for this week’s challenge will be 11:59pm 10/19/19
  • Up to 3 pieces permitted
  • Link your piece to this “IWH Haiku/Senryu Challenge” on your post
  • Always give photo credit if there is one
  • Complete entry form below

Above all else, have fun and be creative with this! 🙂

The entries from the last challenge were all lovely to read! Take a minute
and check them out too. 🙂
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Ruth – Mother Earth – Ruth Scribbles

Matt Snyder – Empathy for a victim – A Prolific Potpourri

Jen Goldie – Catch 22 – Starlight and Moonbeams and the occasional cat

Eugenia – Above and Beyond – BrewNSpew

Nan – Waiting – CHASING THE MUSES

Joe – DOES WRITING EXCUSE WATCHING

Deborah – Beyond Human Strength – AWISEWOMANSJOURNEY

Tien Skye – gaia – FROM THE WINDOW SEAT

My story untold
Written across my body
Roadmap to my soul

Find hope in the ache
Seek support before you break
Healing through my pain
by Taylor Grace

 

Damn Ghosts

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Inspired by BrewNSpew Cafe Weekly Prompt 10/14/19 – Supernatural

 

Samantha died on April 26, 2019. It was shocking to her family and friends. She hadn’t even been ill, seriously or otherwise. The coroner ruled it was natural causes. His department had run all kinds of tests to rule out foul play. Nothing was remotely shady. Samantha just expired. That seemed odd for she was only 25 years old. He obviously couldn’t figure out exactly why she had died. Amateur.

And then her supernatural apparition appeared to me.

How on earth did Samantha know that I would find the one thing that would kill her and not leave any clues?

Wordle #425

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Inspired by The Sunday Whirl

The shy cats finally came close enough to my finger to lick the salt off of it. But suddenly, I was no longer enjoyable. They turned only to collide into one another, then left. I thought they’d like being mine, but they refused to follow me. They were free and intended to stay that way. Well, no matter, I had to forge on. The light was diminishing. Plus, it looked like it wouldn’t remain dry very much longer. I needed to get the perfect image for that fancy-schmancy style magazine. It was my last shot or lose my job.