I miss her.

Bulky and thick are the roots of 16 years.  The time before has been entangled and twisted by the deep, grainy life vessels that have since grown beneath my tree of life.

Transporting nutrients to my now:  my past.

I miss her.

She was sick.  Sick and all of a sudden.  The story of her life leaving was told furiously and fleeting.  As if smacked up side the head with her last chapter only to realize it was the Ciff Notes version, my family had only mere moments to prepare.

My transit time to her was psychotic chaos.  One where crying was deep and then denial was deeper.  In the middle of the pouring rain.  In the middle of the black night.  I raced to her.  Thunder claps and heavy rain pellets were mute; my mind's fury filled the elapsed time until I reached her with a volume so intense.

It's rained every year on this day for the past 16 years.

Finally, my time to be with my mom had come.  With florescent lights and slick sequential squares for a floor, I scurried to her bedside in ICU.  My eyes met a woman I had never seen before.

Mom was full of life.  Vivacious in a simple way if you ask me.  Manicured and tone, her natural beauty was undeniable.  Her dark brown hair usually stopping a little above her shoulders framed a face where the prettiest green eyes lived. Her teeth were perfect to say the least.  The most natural pearled white with all edges turned just the way they should be both top and bottom.  Her happy was in her wrinkles though.  The inevitable inheritance of crow's feet did nothing but validate her depth of smile.

I reached down to smell her first.  I touched her second.  My mom's smell was where Meghan was.  Right underneath her ear lobe and a little before her jaw line.  My nose still knows the place.  My eyes looked past the body limp with a head half shaved and large tubes drilled directly into her scalp.  I needed not to be observant of the hospital gown half off her shoulder and the tape streak remnants left on her face from the presence of her lifeline known now as a ventilator.  I needed my mom.  I needed her smell.  I knew the place.

Anger and sadness are dreadful when laced with disbelief.  Immediacy takes on an even more amped up version of now and compels you to that desperate place where you will do anything for supernatural powers to make it all right again. I had real feelings that I could make her right again.  These feelings only magnified the horrendously crushing fall that was to come in six more hours.

Mom was brain dead.  Two massive aneurysms to the center of her brain had done irreparable damage. The location of the aneurysms deemed them inoperable and my dad was given the option to try experimental drugs or take her off life support.  This offer was given to him roughly 16 hours after my mom's first aneurysm {unknown to anyone} that occurred at my younger brother's soccer game.

Like living out a nightmare, our family's infrastructure was crumbling and all we were left with was what to do with these out-of-no-where empty pieces.

My dad's heart was stolen.  I watched as the thief of death ripped it from his chest right before my very eyes. At 15 years old, my little brother physically shut down from incomprehensible shock followed by massive grief.

And, me?

I just wanted to fix it.  Fix it all.

I couldn't sit still and I don't know if it was from anger, disbelief or my stubbornness in accepting mom's life was ending.

Tight chested and clammy was the rest of my April 26, 1996.  The nauseous reality seeped into my soul and it sickened my heart even more.

The chain of events to follow that day were none I care to remember.  Countless phone calls and hospital guests were tended to.  Looking back, I see the massive support and love, but in the moment and to be brutally honest, it just seemed as another reminder that her time here with us was over.  I'll never forget the first person that spoke of mom using past tense.  It was if their hand blatantly smacked me across the face full on.  And, my reaction was to correct them curt-like and instantaneous.  But, then my now told me to hush and that their verb tense transition was my new way of life.  She was.

16 years today.  At ten after five eastern standard time, she will have been gone.
Bulky and thick are the roots.  

I remember my last time to tell her goodbye in a physical sense.  It was important for me to rub her body from tip to toe.  I can remember her smoothness and color.  Her legs were muscly and long.  She was beautiful even in death.  The urgency in my chest to rescue her and take her with me even if it meant making a fool of myself was intense.  My crying surges found anger and release on her body left behind.  I wept on her.  I told her how proud I was to be her daughter.  I whispered to her how much I loved her and that I would always do my best to make her proud.  I thanked her for her joy in my life and for all that she had taught me and for all that she had done.  And, I even begged her.  I begged her to spring up from that bed and come alive.  Come alive for me. For me.  Selfishness is so sincere and urgent in death.

And then, I found Meghan.  Right underneath her ear lobe and a little before her jaw line.  I sunk myself there.  Placing all my weight and life into that spot.  I asked her to hold me close, and she did.  Still and serene, I loved on my mom with all that I had in me.  I inhaled every last of her that I could, time and again.  I kissed her over and over.  I held her hand.

I miss her.

Bulky and thick are the roots. 
Transporting nutrients to my now:  my past.

 Right underneath the ear lobe and a little before the jaw line.
 I know the place.


I find Meghan there.