“It was twenty years ago today
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They’ve been going in and out of style
But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile
So may I introduce to you…”
—Lennon and McCartney
It was twenty years ago yesterday, Mom, that you departed this world for a safer, happier, healthier place, and my world became much colder. The last shred of my boyhood innocence was gone.
So much has happened over those twenty years—some good, some not so good. But I still remember the night you went away as if it happened last Sunday and not a Sunday two decades removed.
You passed easily, deservedly so. No death’s rattle for you: you simply took one last breath, and never let it out.
I grieved your loss from me then, but was happy for you that your suffering was at last at an end. Nearly a score of years battling Parkinson’s disease, a relentless foe, a battle you could not win. But in my eyes you were valiant until the very end.
I’ve kept you alive in my fiction and non-fiction, perhaps seeking a reason for your affliction, an answer to your own question: “Why me?” Perhaps one day I’ll find it. Maybe, having become a writer, I already have.
It’s been said that our lives are made up of a series of rooms. If that’s so then I was blessed to share a room with you for a time far too short.
I miss you, Mom, and I will until my memory abandons me or I take my own final breath. I hope you’ll be waiting for me—your little boy.
Until then, to “she who bears the sweetest name, and adds a luster to the same; long life to her, for there’s no other who takes the place of my dear mother.”