She was full of life even as she lay dying on the sofa of our little trailer.
I remember the color red. She glowed with this passionate color. Her eyes flashed in the darkness, like the glowing ash on her cigarette.
Her voice was beautiful. If she was happy, and singing, it was like water...quenching that part of you that seemed always, thirsty.
She spoke with authority on subjects in obscure books. She explained the crucifixion of Christ and Dante’s inferno to a seven year old daughter.
Her voice was strong, and captivating, her hands capable and expressive. She was an artist and a muse.
I remember eating cracker jacks, lying close to her, under the soft blue hospital blanket.
She was a goddess to me.
I would lie on the floor listening to her exaggerated breathing as she slept. When she exhaled it sounded like someone chopping wood, in a forest. . . far away. . . echoing.
I imagined the woods. I saw her there among the trees, so green. She was a restless spirit. She flew like a dragon above those trees.
Circling, smiling, watching me. Her aura ruby red, surrounded me, as her tears fell like loving rain upon my opened soul. She Knew me. She remembered me.
I smiled back with admiration.
She was not weak. It took strength to do what she did. It took guts to Be Her. She made No apology for her life, or for her death. She did what she felt was correct.
She loved her children. She loved them anonymously, without a thought to reciprocation. She loved them enough to let them go.
I remember her parting.
She was tired. Inhabiting her body was too laborious and painful. She looked forward to death. She prepared for it. I can remember the ambulance that took her away.
I remember the metal gurney. The sounds of strangers in our home. I watched from the hallway.
And then she was gone.
The couch was so empty later. I lay on the floor thinking of her breath.