One tear sways a stream, as the perpetual Seattle mist merges into a downpour. I pull off Highway 412, just past Greenwater, feeding a CD to the slot. A doe and her fawn remain close by under an umbrella of pines, even after I open the windows to share Nat King Cole singing my Mom’s favorite song, “Star Dust.” The hyper-alert doe keeps watch. As the rain sprays through the window, mixing with my tears, I say goodbye to my Mom.
Januarys end with her birthday, and this month more than any, she is on my mind. She left memories all over the place, like a child scattering toys around for the rest of us to trip over. The slightest tickle from any sense – an image, a voice, an aroma. A whiff of southern fried chicken and she’s before me wearing a crinoline apron in high heels, laughing at Dad, impatiently waiting on a drumstick.
That surreal, misty fog of a “say goodbye day,” married two polar feelings – pain and joy. Earlier that day, the doctor flipped the switch from on to off, as my sister and I kept vigil, witnesses to the air-brake hiss of the machines last breath.
The doctor said it might be hours, or even days before she passed. I don’t know how either of us would have remained standing had we not had our belief in a loving God. Even so, we were reduced from grown women to helpless, lost, scared children. Months of prayers, hand holding, tear dabbing. Hours of Bible reading to a silent Mom whose eyes never open. We have faith, but right now, it resembles that nagging mustard seed. Sisters wanting to be strong for each other, we keep our desperate prayer a secret – the one begging God to let us know that our Mommy will be okay.
A cup of tea might stop the clock, at least for a moment. Shaken, we start down the hall toward the cafeteria when we realize we’ve both forgotten our purses back in the room. We opened the door to find Mom, smiling… eyes, not only open but seeking. Instinctively we turn, looking for what she sees. Our eyes fail to see more than a white wall, but through her eyes… joyous anticipation – promises fulfilled – kingdom majesty.
Moments later, she stopped breathing and left the room. A lights out feeling… yet, there we stood, my sister and I, smiling, giggling, rejoicing. Oh, what a loving God indeed.
Enjoy listening to Star Dust at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjU6ZjrQulc
STAR DUST LYRICS
And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadows of my heart
High up in the sky the little stars climb
Always reminding me that were apart
You wander down the lane and far away
Leaving me a song that will not die
Love is now the stardust of yesterday
The music of the years gone by
Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely night dreaming of a song
The melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you
When our love was new
And each kiss an inspiration
But that was long ago
Now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song
Beside a garden wall
When stars are bright
You are in my arms
The nightingale tells his fairy tale
A paradise where roses bloom
Though I dream in vain
In my heart it will remain
My stardust melody
The memory of love’s refrain