I wanted her to live, but if she had to die, I wanted her to die like a flower blooms. The final opening, an expression of brilliance and beauty before the end. I wanted her to experience the greatest joys in life and reflect them inward and outward. I wanted her to smile. But if there was any flowering in her illness she was a bloom sliced off from her roots, struggling to survive in murky waters, head bowing towards a dusty tabletop that supported a tiny vase. She turned inward, leaves curling, becoming brittle and thin until the silent fall.
I still judge her for allowing this to occur. A cure was denied but she could have gone to yoga, or Mexico. She could have sat in the sunshine more. Right?
Truthfully, I was the one that wanted to flower. I wanted to take in all that life offers, from the minuscule to the infinite. I wanted to find joy and laugh and more fully exist in the world. But I was scared, and instead of facing my own choices or unwinding what bound me in inertia, I aimed to live vicariously through her. Her looming death frightened me, because I felt half-dead too. If she could show me how to live in the final months of her life, I thought I could find my way..
It didn’t go down like that. She died the way she needed to- surrounded by love, but walking her final steps alone. Now I will live the way I need to. I’m still not sure what that looks like, but I am dedicated to finding out. And maybe Mom didn’t teach me how to to go to yoga, or spend more time with my friends, but she showed me that I too can stay true to my path. I too can walk it alone.