My mother is beginning to die. She has pain in her legs and feet, pain in her arm. “I feel like I’m rotting top to bottom,” she said. “Did you take some pills? Rita asked to encourage her to take the morphine. “No, I’m not supposed to take that until later. I just lie here till it goes away.”
She has leukemia. She is 93. I think she’d agree she has had a good life. “The question is, is she ready to let go?” Rita asks when we talk on the phone. I say no, Rita agrees. “You have to be able to let go,” Rita says.
Hours earlier, I was helping Tom and Jeong-Hyeon move furniture out of their living room in preparation for the demolition of the fireplace. “We got rid of 9 boxes of books, tapes, CD’s,” T said. It felt so good.” J-H said, “I have a backpack that I wore when I traveled as a young woman. It’s disgusting, but I can’t let go of it.” T went into the bedroom and came out with a drawing in crayola on worm-eaten paper of a steep hill sprouting houses at whimsical angles. On the back it was signed, TOMMY. “That was my main theme, houses on a hill.”
We are all, all, all, children forever.
It isn’t just my mother who has to let go.