Go in Peace: A Dying Woman Comes to Voice

When it became clear to her that there were no remaining treatments to be tried, all that energy that got tied up in staying alive was suddenly freed for the one last thing on Laura’s mind:  As a mother, she blew it. She blew it with her daughters. She blew it with her sons. She blew it with her own mom.

She’d taken to hoisting a limp hand and, in that Down-Under twang, saying, Lymphoma Laura, pleased t’meetcha. Telling herself that all the time she thought she had to get it right was gone, she was eyeballing death in the belief that she had disappointed everyone.

How? She just never said the right thing.  She just never found that comforting combination of words and sounds that made a kid feel at home.  She could joke and she could jab but couldn’t say the stuff moms were supposed to say and one day, she clammed up. And once she realized she was fixin’ to die, she thought of nothing else.

But now, she didn’t just want to parrot that long lost lyric—I love you—she wanted to communicate the music of love in such a way that it could be turned to, sotto voce, for comfort, at any point in the remaining lives of her sons, her daughters, and her mother. She knew exactly what she wanted. Continue reading

The Thing About the Clear Heart