Part 7: I See the Moon
My last few memories of Mom were in her bedroom, which I would refer to as the treehouse. The home is on top of a hill, overlooking trees for miles, with two walls of windows for a front row seat of each season.
After assisting Mom out of her day clothes and into her silky nightgown lined in flannel, we shuffled over to the bedroom window to admire the moon. The visual of this bright almost-harvest moon is etched in my forever memory box. The lights were off and yet the room was bright with moonbeams, shining straight from heaven.
Hunched over her walker, my arm over her shoulders, we sang the simple song:
I see the moon and the moon sees me,
the moon sees somebody I can’t see.
God bless the moon, God bless me,
God bless somebody I can’t see.
A quick goodbye was said. Still burdened with the bronchial cold, in rubber gloves and face mask, I was unable to touch or hug, but gave a little hip-shake dance as my goodnight hug. Never, not even for a second, did it dawn on me that we just shared our last moment together. The doctors led us to believe we had months, even longer if chemo was continued. If only I had known, I would have shredded the plastic wrappers and hugged her tightly, kissing her cheek, whispering decades of gratitude in her ear. I replay this over and over again. If only….
Off I went under the glow of those moonbeams, my body and mind physically depleted. I certainly wasn’t thinking that I just heard Mom’s words for the last time. For at 7am the next morning, the call would arrive that divided my life into befores and afters.
In Meghan O’Rourkes’ beautiful memoir, The Long Goodbye, she believes her mother’s spirit has been transferred to another substance – somehow, somewhere – instead of dying alongside of the body. The author found the air was the metaphor for her mother as she felt peace and presence when enveloped by the wind after her Mom died. The moment I read these words I knew, without a doubt, that my Mom’s metaphor was the moon.
The following winter months were never cold or snowy enough to stop me from venturing outside around the 9pm hour to bask in the moonlight. I’d mount myself on the stone ledge of our backyard and share my tears with Mom, clinging to those moonbeams from above. I feel her presence, her parenting me from afar, loving me from above. The moon is her portal from heaven and every 29 days or so, our spirits are reunited.