Coming Full Circle

As I entered the hospital to see my mother, a million thoughts ran through my head, and so many feelings -- of loneliness, sadness, anger, defeat.

My mother had just died, and I was going to see her after years of voluntary absence.

I was going to see her just as much for her as for me, because somewhere in my mind, I do believe the spirits watch us and know. And I wanted my mother to know that, although I had divorced myself from her and her life many years ago, I still cared.

Before I was allowed to enter the room where my mother lay, I had to put on a gown, mask and gloves because she was a MRSA carrier. Even in death, her germs were contagious, to be avoided.

So, I put the protective clothing on, and entered her room, and there she lay, bathed in the hospital lamplight over her head. She looked like she was sleeping, her mouth open, eyes lightly closed, hands clasped over her chest. She looked so tiny, fragile, mouth open like a tiny baby bird. Tears in the corners of her eyes. Asleep, but no breath.

And so she was, a tiny baby bird, always a child. Unable to do for herself. And unable to love herself, or anyone else.

I stood there by her side and touched her hand through my glove. Still warm.

My life with my mother was always guarded, always scary. I was never allowed to get too close to her, to get to know her, to love her.

There I stood, covered from head to toe, protected from her still.

In life, through harsh words and hateful actions. In death, through mere cloth.


dizzblnd said…
You expressed yourself so well. It seems fitting that you had the protective clothing on when seeing her. It must have been tough to make yourself go and see her

Beth said…
I am so sorry for the loss of your mother and for the loss of what could have been. It always pains me to hear about children of parents who are not able to love unconditionally. You deserved better than that.

Despite your troubled relationship with your mother, you sound like an amazing mother to your kids!
Kathy said…
I don't know what to say. This is very well put and very moving. I hope it helps you. It helped me.
♥georgie♥ said…
Oh Mary...I just don't know what to say...
Crazy Mo said…
Anything I say will sound trite, so I'll just say that I'm thinking of you and pushing good thoughts your way.
Debbie said…
I'm not even sure how to respond to this. It was beautifully written and so honest, yet so sad and longing. Thank you for sharing with us.
kel said…
Oh honey, that is so sad... ((hugs))
Touching, powerful and at the same time sensitive post. I was there. I have BEEN there.
blueviolet said…
It seems as if the mask, gloves and gown you wore were symbolic.

I'm sorry that your mother was not all that you needed in a mother.
pam said…
You are on my mind today!

Grace said…
A lovely bit of writing - well done.
Angela said…
This is one of the most powerful blog posts I have ever read. WOW! Thank you for sharing such a personal moment with us. Sure puts life into perspective.
mo.stoneskin said…
I have no idea what to say. I've not been here much but the comments imply things were difficult. I'm sorry to here of this.
Missy said…
WOW! I really do not know what to say! That is very powerful writing! I am very sorry for your loss! Will be praying for you!
Yaya said…
Oh Mary I'm so sorry.
This post speaks volumes to me. I have a horrible relationship with my family. I went a year and half without talking to any of them and have not slightly let my parents into my life. I just can't imagine if they were to die at this point in life where our relationship is so rocky.

(((Hugs))) Mary.

What a beautiful post. I am in tears for what you must have been going through in terms of an internal stuggle. You are in my thoughts. Thank you for opening your heart in such a public manner. Not many people are so brave!
ModernMom said…
Oh Mary. I'm so sorry for your loss. I wish you peace.
Maggie May said…
I'm so sorry. This is wonderfully expressed.
Keep writing, Mary. Much healing can come from your writings, even though you may not know it until much, much later. Be kind to yourself.
Janet said…
I'm sorry to read about your mother's passing...and everything else. ((((Mary))))

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