Thursday, June 6, 2019

How can it be?

Time just keeps blasting us forward. Dan Paik died 5 years ago today. Five. I spent only five years with him. Soon he will be gone from this earth longer than I knew him.

I live on the 5th floor now in a brand new building in a new city. I'm weary and disoriented. I have a different car and changed to a different purse. I can't find things. I have no sense of direction. I'm lost every time I go anywhere more than a few blocks away. But the dead loved ones are here. Dan. My mom, my aunt Millie. They are constants, easy to navigate to.

The Mississippi River curves through this city. Sometimes I'm on one side of it, sometimes the other. The river Styx divides the living from the dead. I'm still here, living.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Traveling with the Dead

Traveling with my mom wasn't easy. Would her aching body endure the five and a half hour flight to Baltimore? Would she need to use the bathroom when the seatbelt sign was on? Would she ask the person seated on the other side of her a million personal questions? Would I remember all the stuff she needed? Would there be a medical crisis while we were away from home?

A couple days ago I flew to the East Coast  to see my brother and his girlfriend. Reagan Airport in D.C. was where I arrived, but I flew home from Baltimore. As soon as I stepped through the entry doors, I missed her. Isn't it  crazy how you see that lost person out of the corner of your eye, or just rounding a corner ahead of you? My mom was at my side, yet just beyond my reach.

The restaurant where we used to eat is a steak house now instead of a crab place. The table right up front where it was easy to pull up a wheel chair isn't there anymore, so I took a spot at the bar facing a window that looks out into the airport. There's a giant menu right outside, and people walked up to study it while I studied them. It was like an aquarium for people watching as they stood just a couple feet from me, reading the list of things they might possibly indulge in for lunch. In my head I heard the conversation my mom and I  might have had as we discussed one person after another.

I'm sure people watched us too when we traveled together. There were comments on our matching shoes and our silver hair.

Back at home now, I've been enchanted by the moon jellyfish in the marina. It's another world, dreamlike and ghostly.