the final 30 days of last


30 days until the one year anniversary of my mother’s death.
Down to the 30 Days of Lasts.
Her own Days of Awe.
335 days without her here.
Not just alive, but living and vibrant.

What would she have done in those last 30 days, had she known they’d be The Last?
What words would she have uttered?
What secrets whispered?
What forgivenesses begged?
What unspoken dreams unrealized and mourned, or conquered?
What decisions made?
What bulls would she have taken by their horns?
What tokens and memories would she have shared and passed down to those who would keep them safe and treasured, where they rightfully belong, instead of left in the incapable and unworthy hands of those whom don’t deserve them?

30 last days of chemo.
Gasping for breath.
Grasping to Life.
Stumbling over the tubes tickling her nose, tripping her over their long transparent lines as they connected her to air to breath to life. The garbly whooshing sound that came from the big ugly unwanted and unflattering accessory of oxygen.

30 days of imprinting her grandchildren’s voices sounds smells smiles into her ravaged cells, so that she could take those precious pieces of them with her.
She would have taken the girls for one last mani-pedi, and then out for fro-yo. Always out for fro-yo.
She would have taken the boys for one last romp around the golf course. Driving the cart for them as she gleefully watched and memorized their youthful healthy sleek bodies bend and reach and stroke the ball with all their might. Reveling in their youth and joy and freedom and life.

And most of all, in those 30 Days of Lasts, she would have wrapped her love her light her last bits of strength, her body and soul around her two beautiful daughters. Her stunning legacies. Her fierce women that she raised to fight like girls and not back down. Her new Matriarchs, unwanting and unwilling to take from her their rightful posts as the heads of their own matrilineal lines. Not ready to accept this passing of baton. She would have gathered them, and cooked. Massive feasts of briskets and matzah balls and chopped liver (damned the chopped liver!) and tzimis, and her mushroom rice casserole that we dug into right out of the dish straight from the oven, smelling and tasting the goodness with impatience, fighting over those bits in the corners, burning our fingertips and our tongues. You know the ones, they are crunchy and toasty and take you back to a life you only remember in your subconscious. And so many of her other favorites. She would have held our hands as we measured and stirred, searing her Mother’s touch into every ounce of those meals. Whispering pinches of this and pats of that into our ears, feeling the warmth of her breath on our necks. In our hearts. So that when she was no longer here, we always knew we could bring her back by cooking one of those dishes. Those dishes and meals whose very ingredients relied on her essence her spirit her soul. Her laugh her sparkle. Her warmth and love. Her motherliness.

Not ready.
Too young.
Still so much to see and do.
So many places to discover.
So many memories to be made and shared and passed down and recorded in the history books of our lives.
So many conversations still unspoken.
So many years still left to live and to give and to become the person she was always meant to be.
So many renditions of ourselves we’ve yet to become.
So much love left to give.
So much love to receive.
So many kisses and hugs.
So many giggles to erupt from her very deepest guttural soul.
So many sparkly twinkles for the light to catch in her eyes.
So many more Dayenus to be sung.

But instead it was Enough.
No matter how tightly we held on to her soft warm hands.
No matter how many sweet nothings we whispered into her ears.
No matter how many times we told her we love her and always have and always will.
No matter how much we didn’t want to let go.
No matter how fucking unfair this whole bullshit was.
No matter how much we were going to miss her every second that we went on breathing.
No matter how many millions of pieces we were breaking into as each breath brought her closer to her last.
No matter.
No matter.
No matter.
It was Enough.
It was Enough.
It was Enough.



4 thoughts on “the final 30 days of last

  1. Elizabeth McLaughlin February 25, 2015 / 7:09 am

    Wow. It was enough. I wanted more than enough. 25 years later and I still just want her back! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Henny Lefebvre February 25, 2015 / 2:16 pm

    Death ends a life but it doesn’t end a relationship that lives on in the mind of a daughter. Mommy-missing feelings will always be there. My own Mother now gone for 13.4 years still feels like yesterday when I held her in my arms as she took her last breath. Mom, the one and only person I could go to in life who understood me, shared my happy times and held me in my darkest moments. My half double trouble partner in crime, the one person I spent every day of my life with till that one final minute when my whole world would change into a world I didn’t know, to live without my Mom. This beautiful blue eyed lady who knew everything about my very being, my every thought, my most secret everything I had, my Mom who I so loved with every beat of my heart, my Mom the one person in my life I could trust with everything was gone…but still, even today, to this very moment as I sit here with tears knowing that you are going through that same Mommy-Missing feelings I know she is here, in my world, in my heart. That is what comforts me, that is what keeps me going in life, loving my own family, being that one person who would make My Mom proud.


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