When you try to place things, experiences and people in words, details that were clear become nebulous at best. So, it’s best to try to capture what the truth may be at that given time. This story is just a drop of life into the great ocean of life. It may just become a part of a giant tsunami; it may park itself somewhere as a lake – even a life that is stagnant and dark with moss might give birth if stirred with the right spoon.
Morbid best describes the way my mother talked about death. She talked about death as if it was her Friend. To me, it seemed that death was always on the outskirts, threatening my time with her. She would play strange games with me.
“What would you do if I died?” she asked me once as I colored in my superhero coloring book.
“Cry,” I said, not looking up at her. This question was not new. She would come and hug me and say Oh, you’d miss me? or kiss my cheek. But I was about 10 when she asked this time. My mind and heart battled separately and my mind, intent on the color red for Superman’s cape, refused to submit to the question. She continued to press, asking me what I would do after the crying was over.
“Maybe I would die with you?” I said. Separation from our little family of three would be impossible I thought. She looked at me.
“Well, ok,” she said. “But what about your life? Don’t you want to live?”
“Not without you.”
She considered this. “I know it might be hard, but people do die, you know. And kids go on living.”
I still didn’t look up from my drawing.
“Well, we’ll see when that time comes,” I said.