Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The last time I visited the small clapboard house in Yellow Springs, my father lay partially paralyzed in the same bed where my mother had died just three plus weeks before. It took him over a week to finally leave this world.
That house held nothing but bad memories. It was easy not to return.
But my sister -- my only sister -- lives just ten minutes or so away, and I hadn't seen her since my parents died four years ago.
Sure, we talked on the phone and exchanged emails. But not to spend quality in-person time together seemed wrong. I missed her.
She owns horses and oversees a 96-acre property that demands constant care and attention. If we were going to see each other, it was up to me. So, I loaded up the car and drove the six plus hours from my home to Yellow Springs.
I walked slowly up the path to the front porch of my parents' home. I "saw" my mother sitting there, holding an Obama For President sign.
Now the porch seemed eerily empty with weeds and vines crawling up its sides. I paused to catch my breath.
I opened the door, took my shoes off as was the custom, and tiptoed into the kitchen, half hoping that I'd find my mother preparing lunch or cleaning up. There wasn't a sound save for my quiet sobs. Nervous, I walked into the bedroom where my parents had died. Instead of a dark room with curtains drawn, I was greeted with light streaming in the circular glass addition and prisms bouncing off of the stained glass windows my mother had made but hadn't had time to hang. My sister had rearranged the furniture, and all that remained in the atrium was an oak rocking chair.
I sat down in the chair, closed my eyes, and rocked slowly back and forth, breathing more slowly now. I could imagine shades of purple floating above my head, My mother loved the color purple.
"How do you feel?" my sister whispered.
"Better. Much better."