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Monday, September 12, 2011

Facing the Music

My mother died just about a year ago.  Today is the 2nd time I've been able to play native American flute music since that day, or rather night.  The first was too raw, too much pain.

I got a phone call from my sister: "Brian, Mom's in surgery and there has been a complication..."

... I had gotten a voicemail from my mother the night before - and ignored it, like usual.  I think I even pushed her to VM rather than take a late night call.

Oh Shit!

The thoughts that percolated at that point weren't terribly sophisticated.



Surgery?  I didn't know about any surgery!

OH SHIT - what will my boss think?  --Meta information - I was in my first week of my new, high paying, save my family's financial ass job--

F' the boss - "Sis, where are you - I'm on my way"

The pride I feel at this point, looking back on that decision to prioritize being with my family over my finances kind-of bothers me... it's honestly a decision I'd make again - but the fact that I feel pride in it means I could have gone the other way... and what kind of despicable ass makes that decision?

A bit of time in the waiting room with my sister and her then BF - a nice guy but not up to the multi-month crisis my sister would then enter - my other sister joins us - we eat a ad-hoc dinner and then find Mom's been moved to the ICU... after dying for 10 long minutes with docs manually pumping her heart.

Yeah - my head is spinning; my heart is cold; my strength for my family is palpable.

We plan - who's doing what shift - I insist on the overnight....  insist.  I know my sisters won't sleep - but they will be worse than I if they don't at least try to sleep.  To this day, I don't know if/how they did.

I did go home briefly while Kevan spent some time with Mom.  I threw together a bag with my 'hospital sweatshirt' my iPod and it's portable speakers and a book.  The speakers and iPod are key to this story.

My mother loved native american flute music; those rhythmic drums and haunting melodies.  One of my favorite internet radio stations was based 100% around this musical style - and it was what I played for us the hours while I sat at her bedside.  Praying to my goddess, her God, anyone who might be listening that she could pull through the coma, get over the twice an hour body wrenching retching, and have intelligence, rather than horror, reach her eyes once more.  Yes, I saw her fear in her deep brown eyes.  The terror.  The soul ripping horror at her situation and our mutual inability to do more than pray.

So as the low sonics of wood flutes and skin drums penetrated the ICU, and the concerned young man who was taking *very* good care of my mum came and went; I waited - listening to the sounds - knowing my mother could hear them... and knowing that they called her to a fearless beyond... I helped my mother pass.

And have had a hard time listening to this music since...

Light a candle when you see this post - she loved candles.

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