I was driving to my friend Eve’s house on the Eastern Shore when the snow began to fall. I had never driven so far away from home with snow pouring down as hard as it was accumulating quickly on the roads but I decided to breathe deep and enjoy my adventure, and that I did as I slid my way right on past her exit. I made it though, sleep over pillows in tow, it’s funny how you begin to try extra hard to live when someone you love dies.
“Autumn, the Years Last Loveliest Smile” – Bryant
The sketch was me doodling as I waited in my mothers hospital room, that was the beginning of the end. It was October and we had gone to her primary facility when she complained of an ache behind her knee as to rule out blood clots and I left that evening when the staff promised they would transport her to our local hospital, one I knew well since after all I was employed by it. However when I returned home I received a call that said they instead transported her to a city hospital, one in town and I was not at all familiar with. I lost it in a most unattractive way. It’s this weird overkill empathy I have, this emo side that I’ve now learned is another oddity tied into ADHD but whatever, I’m not certain that plays part or not, what I was certain of then was I knew what it’s like to be scared and alone when you’re young and healthy with your whole promising life stretched out in front of you, and now forty minutes away in the middle of the night they’ve sent my mother who suffered so greatly from anxiety to the point she was almost too scared to live at all to a strange place with strange people in the middle of the night. Had I’d known this earlier that would have never happened, I’d of never left. I reamed out doctors and nurses and staff and anyone else who came on the phone line rather that night, unnecessarily I might add, I just so pissed, but in true Universal fashion the sun came out the next morning as it always does, I found my way downtown as I always do, and there I sat with my crazy mom waiting for her to be released. Just shy over two months my mom would be gone.
Eve and I drove to the shore later that day after the snow had settled down. My mom was gone now and I was standing on a windy beach, snow covering the dunes watching the clouds part and the sun find its way through. And my mom was gone. My mother is gone. And there are sand dunes covered in snow. It was surreal, like standing on the side of another dimension looking out at a different world. I guess I kind of was. Half the time I didn’t even like the lady. And now she was just gone and I didn’t have her to go home to and tell of the snow covered dunes.
On my drive back home I cried. I cried for two and a half hours never letting up. I talked to my mom in my head, I talked to her out loud in the car. Through tears and auto pilot I made it home. The Blues Travelers came on and through the loop auto shuffle Hook made its way around several times and I’m not sure why that song hit me so hard every time it played, it’s so irrelevant to that moment at hand, but I think maybe it just kept taking me back to a time, a day I remember when the song was at its height and it was warm outside and I was on my mom’s porch with my son no more than a toddler, the sun was happily beginning to set and I remember really liking the new Dove Liquid soap and how it smelled as I flipped through Alanis Morissette’s Little Jagged Pill CD booklet, and in my head this scene is so bright, this everyday nothingness, so focused and in color and so alive and now my mom wasn’t. It’s funny the way things just strike you, it’s funny the most insignificant things you’ll attach to a song. The Hook brings you back.
Mom would have turned 80 today.
Blues Travelers / Hook