I still hear your voice.
Your omnipresence is so surreal. In the bathroom, as I splash water and it drips down my face, I am reminded of nights I spent at your house. “My second home.” My free space.
As I move to the kitchen, I recall your ubiquitous cookbooks and complex spice racks. My experimental place where I first baked a cake. Mmmmm good times…
Your memory never escapes me.
I remember our “family” get togethers at my place. Mom made her famous Kool-aid punch, you always brought the smoked meats.
Now you’re the second of our family to be gone. The first was my sister gone too soon. Now you, my other mom. Both of you claimed by diseases that we spend thousands on reasearch for but no man can cure.
CANCER YOU GOT A GOOD ONE!
Who would have known this would have been our last summer together.
I took seeing you in the hospital for granted. I never like those places. No matter how friendly the staff- the smell, doors and people suffering puts my stomach in pretzel knots. Nausea surfaces into my throat each time.
But sometimes life makes you do things you don’t want. I wanted to support my mom, your most faithful visitor, and you were there. So I went.
I remember watching you lie in the bed. Your face riddled with pain. Far from the woman who had cheered me on at graduation a year before. Bones so fragile, every movement caused you to wince. Sometimes scream. Ear piercing screams escaped from your delicate body.
The shouts were too much for me to bear. My head spun, my mouth drop, my eyes just gazed. I stood like a frightened deer in headlights until you gave me a “task” to go get dinner.
You were always looking out for me.
Yet. You never complained. Not even once. In fact, you lectured me on my future, gave me interview tips and wrote me recommendations. Even in a frail state, your spunk and love never wavered.
The unbroken spirit I called you. I wrote to you, “You’re a conquerer, you’re victorious, you can’t be blocked, you can’t be stopped!”
Then you got better! “The miracle woman,” everyone exclaimed! Your strength you displayed inspired us all. We rejoiced at your recovery. I packed you in the car, closed the door and goofily waved you off…
Little did I know, it was for the last time.
Well, not exactly the last. Because I still hear your voice.
It’s a divineness, a wisdom…
I hear your voice coming from the t.v. getting all the jeopardy questions right. I hear you tell me the importance of staying focused as I work. I hear you telling me the importance of education as I try to figure out my future. As I shop I hear you telling me the impressions that come from looking good. I hear you demanding better service at restaurants. I hear you telling me to only accept excellence.
But finally, when I wrap up the day and prepare for a nights rest, I feel you in the room with me. I remember how you made me say my prayers and read Purpose Driven Life to work out my spiritual salvation.
A warmth encamps around me telling me never to forget. Your soul kisses me goodnight and your heavenly embodiment holds and comfort me until I fall asleep.
And in the moment I am glad I still hear your voice.