MOVarazzi

Saturday, February 16, 2013

905. Cynthia

We knew it was him because he came to the front door.  No one uses that door, it is really far from the driveway and the garage.  Who can blame him, though—it had been over 20 years since he’d been to the house. 

“Cynthia?” he called out.  Geesh, you’d think he’d know she goes by Cindy.  “Cynthia, darling, time to go.” 
Mom was late for everything her whole life, she wasn’t about to be on time now. 

“I’m not ready,” she squeaked. “Can you at least wait ‘til my kids get here?  They’re flying in.  I would like to say good-bye to them.” 
He adjusted his shadowy black hood and gave a sigh.  It was a lingering sigh, the kind that steals the energy from a room. 

“Cynthia, I’ve been waiting for over two years now.” 
“Then what’s five more days?” 

She had a point.  He walked out without turning around.  I heard him say, “I am coming back, though, you do know that, Cynthia.”  It sounded like a threat.  And then he was gone.    
My sister flew in, as did my uncle, my step-dad, and assorted random cousins who I only saw once a year or less.  What is the saying?  Families always come together for weddings and—

“Funerals.  I hate funerals,” said my brother-in-law, as he got an apple out of the refrigerator.  “They’re so … so … final.”  He sort of whispered the word final, the way we had all been whispering cancer. 
The nurse told me someone was at the back door, and I was relieved to see that it was my brother.  Mom moved her pillow and struggled to sit up in bed a little when the nurse escorted him into her bedroom.    

“I’m so glad you’re here,” she said, and then she began to cry.  I couldn’t tell if they were tears of joy or sadness or just relief.     
“Me, too.  Me, too.”  He hugged her tight, and she groaned in pain.  Cancer is not for the weak. 

As promised, Death showed up exactly five days later.  We were hoping he’d forget.     
“I’m sorry, Cynthia, I know this is hard,” he extended his hand to her.  “But look at the bright side:  you already know some people up there!  Your mom, your dad, your aunts!”

It was strange hearing him talk about a "bright side."  I always believed he was all doom and gloom, but it turns out he was more sympathetic than I thought. 
Mom reached for her purse, out of habit, and Death stifled a small laugh.  “Cynthia, you won’t need that.  I promise.” 

And like that, they were gone. 
MOV

17 comments:

  1. So sorry for your loss, but am glad you were able to make some new memories before "he" came. Take care of yourself as you heal.

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    1. thank you. I am also really glad I was able to be there the last 5 days.

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  2. I, too am sorry for your loss of your mom. I think the older I get, the more I realize there is a "bright side". Perhaps this is natures way of preparing us as we get older to realize that death is a part of being alive. I like to think there is a place that is without worry and heartache but 24/7 joy and peace.

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    1. You know, a few days before she passed, I told her, "Mom, you are about to get the keys to the Universe! It is kind of exciting!" Exciting for her, depressing for us. But she could not breathe at the end (lung cancer), so it was quite painful emotionally to see her like that. I am relieved that she does not have to be in that kind of pain anymore.

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  3. I have honestly been at such a loss for words regarding your mom's death. I hate just saying "I'm sorry" or "That's awful." But now that I've read this, what I'd really like to say is that I'm so glad you were able to be there with her, that everyone made it just in time. It wasn't possible to cancel the appointment entirely, but your mom was so lucky to be surrounded by the people she loved, and who loved her.

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    1. What a lovely note, Haley. Thank you.

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  4. I am glad you are all at peace now. Thinking of you.

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  5. Ugh, so beautiful. Death will come to all of us, the big jerk. I just hope it's peaceful for all concerned. Thank you for writing this and being so vulnerable. I know it is difficult. Peace to you and your family.

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    1. I did not think of it that way (vulnerable), but I guess that is a good way to describe it.

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  6. Your piece is well written. I feel your sadness and grief. Some days will be better than others. I just lost my dad but haven't found the words to write about it yet. I know it will be healing when I am able to do it.

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    1. Fancy Ranci, I am so sorry about your dad. It is an emotional time. My grandmother died over 20 years ago, and I still miss her terribly.

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    1. Thanks, YB, a compliment from an outstanding writer like you means a lot.

      xxo
      MOV

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  8. This is a really touching post, Julie. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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