On This Day…

There’s so much I want to say to you that I didn’t say while we were both sitting in that hospital room surrounded by a cacophony of beeping devices, moans, soft, desperate pleas for help and the occasional chirping bird outside the barely-cracked window.

Why is it that animals avoid hospital grounds, I wonder? Maybe they’re not so dumb after all?

But I’m getting off-track, as we both know I do.

On this day I can’t help but miss you, yes, but mostly I’m haunted by you. By our issues, I mean, not you personally. (There are enough spirits in our home as it is.) I want to burn away all these questions that still reside in my consciousness.

But I know I never will. But isn’t that how it always is with parents and children of any age? There’s never any real resolution, just never-ending queries and angst.

Still, I want to ask you… So much.

Why did you let it happen?

Why did you let it go on for so long?

It actually physically hurts to type the words. No wonder I didn’t speak them aloud. I just sat there and shared a series of awkward smiles with you as time slipped away. Eventually you became too weak to even speak beyond an incoherent whisper. The fear in your eyes as we tried – and failed – to communicate is burnt into my memory. (I hope that fear is long gone and you are at peace, I truly do.)

And then that morning arrived when I walked into that damn room and you were gone while still lying there. I kissed the shell that held your soul and wished you a safe journey. Of course, the first thing I actually did was crack open the window in the room. Death does not smell like potpourri, that’s for sure.

(Mom would approve of my gallows humor, so relax, everyone.)

And then our time together, a time that had lasted over four decades and weathered some pretty monumental storms, was over. You donated your eyes to science so I had to answer some extremely uncomfortable questions about your lifestyle and sexual history, but I think you did that just to see me squirm one last time. Just like that time you asked, “Is she a good wife to you in bed, Bobby?”

There will never be another like you, that’s for damn sure, so on this day let me just say that in spite of it all I bear you no ill will, just good thoughts and love.

See you in the lobby everyone…


HOOK”S NOTES:  Yes, I realize this post is early but the words and thoughts, fractured as they are, just came to me this morning so here we are. Thank you for indulging me.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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33 Responses to On This Day…

  1. This post highlights how complicated relationships are. Hope it was a peaceful passing.

  2. Mark Myers says:

    She would approve!

  3. Theresa says:

    I can tell you from my own experience with my Mother’s passing that our souls leave upon death. I say this to you because I saw it at the moment my Mother left this earth. As I sat there with my Brother and Sister, waiting for her to pass after we had to “pull the plug”, out of the corner of my eye I saw her sit up, (this happened slowly, as I looked at her and then away, over and over), looking ahead at something that lit up her face, wearing a pink blouse, her hair was its natural color and she looked young. I tell you, I thought I was loosing it. I shook my head and thought, I must be so tired.
    I looked back at her and she was laying flat, when I looked away, I saw her sit up further, from the corner of my eye. This happened each time, until she was sitting straight up! I can’t explain it! I saw it! I believe she was looking at heaven?, Dad?, God?, something that put her at peace and with incredible happiness. I thought I was crazy, but I can tell you Hook, I will NEVER forget that as long as I live and maybe until it happens to me.
    Believe Hook, that your Mom is at peace and is unbelievable happy. I hope you don’t think I’m nuts. I will NEVER forget that NEVER!

    • The Hook says:

      You’re not nuts, Theresa.
      My dead grandmother was standing in the corner of my mom’s hospital room as she battled bone cancer on more than one occasion.
      Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing.

  4. renxkyoko says:

    My deepest condolences, Mr.Hook .

  5. A thoughtful post, Hook. I’m sure your mom’s at peace.

  6. The Oracle says:

    I really thought the thought was worth jotting down and sharing! I’m Hooked AGAIN!

  7. Yes, our relationships with parents certainly can be complicated. Such is life. This is a wonderful tribute to your mother.

  8. I’m so sorry you lost your mom Robert. I know it is hard to lose a parent even though I have never gone through it. I have been there for the loss of my in-laws and friends whose parents were a part of my life growing up. I am fortunate enough to still have both of mine and they are relatively healthy (more or less). Although my dad is a cancer survivor, has had a heart attack and sports 3 stints. But he doesn’t think smoking for 60+ years has had any effect on his health? ugh…
    My mother is ok for the most part. Both of them will probably hang around for a long time because they are too damn cantankerous to die. They are NOT married to one another any more thank GOD! They have been divorced for 54 years. Scary thought they were ever together.. but that is another story. Life is fragile and we should not take one day for granted, although I admit I do. I will say a prayer for you today.. peace and blessings my friend! 🙂

  9. susielindau says:

    I love this. Parents and adult children have such complicated relationships. They always leave a hole in our hearts.

  10. So sorry for your loss Hook. Time smooths the edges a little, but the pain remains.
    I was holding my Dad’s hand when he passed away 13th May 1996, the day after my 40th birthday.
    I am convinced Mum joined him 18th January 2018 and they are young, free of pain and happy.
    Thoughts are with you my friend.

  11. C.E.Robinson says:

    Robert, a thoughtful post to say the least. So sad the passing of parents. My condolences! Your mother’s at peace! And I send prayers & peaceful thoughts to you! 📚🎶 Christine

  12. Frank Croisdale says:

    Your complicated relationship with your mom reminds me of one of Roger Waters’ most cutting lines, “You’re nearly a laugh, but you’re really a cry.”

    You’re as good of a man as they come, Hook. I imagine that’s partly due to your mother and partly in spite of her.

    Stay strong and know that you always have my love and admiration, my friend.

    • The Hook says:

      Likewise, my brother.
      I know this Mother’s Day will be bittersweet for you, as your memories of your mother make you smile – just as the loss of her passing breaks your heart.
      See you soon, my friend.

  13. Jennie says:

    That is so nice, Hook. Relationships are complicated, and you penned this tribute beautifully. Best to you.

  14. Doug in Oakland says:

    Great post. I will carry the circumstances of my mother’s passing on my shoulders as long as I live.
    My mother had debilitating migraines for decades, and nothing the neurologists did, including surgery helped her.
    Then one time during an especially severe one, the doctors discovered the real problem: she had a brain tumor, which by then was inoperable.
    Upon receiving her diagnosis that she was dying, her first response was “We have to find Doug.”
    But I was not findable at the time, and six weeks later she was dead.
    I found all of this out from my sister two years later.
    So I guess make the effort to respond if you get a message from an old friend that your parents want you to call them, even if you are homeless and would have to call collect.

  15. I’m very sorry for your loss my friend. It sounds like your mother had a wicked sense of humour, hopefully you will continue with that humour in her memory.

  16. carlystarr says:

    A very sad and beautiful post.

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