Looking Back In Anger

looking-back

 

It could have been Tuesday
Or Thursday
The days all seemed the same
Maybe it’ll happen tonight
Or maybe tomorrow
A painful waiting game
But I knew it was coming
Or was it going
Only time can know
Why did I need to watch it
Or worse, live it
See the cancer grow
Cancer is an arrogant shit
Stepping on hearts with depravity
But I remember you you shit
That very night it took my Mom
Cancer spun and waltzed to the ballroom floor
In an ugly miasmic dance with death
Teasing and taunting
Till we could take it no more
Dispassionate
Sucking up all her breath
She didn’t even know she was at home
Thought she was alone
Didn’t know how much I cared
Cancer took her brain away
Left her lonely and scared
With vile indifference
Some unfamiliar eyes looked my way
Like they had something important to say
But it wasn’t mom who was staring
The eyes were too angry
Then in my Moms deaths voice to taunt me
“Who are you? Why are you here? I don’t know you”
“It’s me Mom, your prodigal son. I’ve come back home.”
“You’re not my son, I’ve never seen you before in my life”
The anger in her eyes was vaguely familiar
At the same time completely foreign
Still they cut like a razor through my soul
Bleeding out the shame of virtues past
Burning a hole in my confidence
It wasn’t her it wasn’t her
It was the Cancer talking
Leaving me wounded
One final indignity
To taunt my reflection
Cancer cares for no one

Memories are like watching reruns of our lives. Many make us smile, swell with pride and feel the comfort and warmth of an epoch of our younger days. Sometimes they bring on a state of melancholy leaving us yearning for those days while others make us outright sad and depressed, especially when the memory is of something ripped from our hearts. They come as an ending, a final memory, the last episode. This is inspired from my final memory of my Mom who passed from cancer many years ago. I left home when I thought I had become a man to become an adult on my own terms which intensified the already established rift between my mother and I. Fortunately mere months before she was diagnosed with cancer we had come to understand and appreciate each other and our relationship had returned to a strong mother /son bond. On the downside, this made the end so much harder…

Moms Home

Mom

 

Home
Where I learned about life
And love
When I scraped my knee
Mom fixed me
With iodine and love
Sacrificed everything for us
For Our Home
Moms Home
She always filled it with love
Taught us to be who we are
Shaped our hearts and our minds
Constructed tender memories
Mom made home a house of love
So why did we make her leave it?

 
Have you seen Mom lately? No, you? Always busy, always something more to do.
It’s been so long since we went to see Mom, but it’s just so far away and there aren‘t enough hours in a day. Time flies by and what with Billy’s baseball and Janie’s soccer along with band practice and PTA meetings there just isn’t enough time for anything. She’s better off at her new home at Echo Valley anyway, don’t ya think?

.
Echo Valley
Moms new Home
Museum of archaic statues
Final act of an ancient drama
Waiting for the final curtain
The theater where time stands still
Where everyone screams but no one listens
Echo Valley
That’s where we brought her
Where Mom now makes home
A carousel of strangers
Life of structure
Memories have deserted her
We’ve deserted her
Made her someone else’s problem
Gathering dust and urine stains
Wafting in fumes of ammonia
Formaldehyde in waiting
It’s Moms home now
Why not give the old woman a call

Welcome to Echo Valley, home for the old and forgotten. All our representatives are busy with other family members who are also substituting a phone call for a visit. Please continue to hold for the next available attendant. Your call is as important to us as your family member is to you so if we make you wait too long, imagine how they feel waiting for you to come visit so shut the fuck up or do the right thing and make the trip. After all she’s done for you how can you dump her in our Home and forget about her? She has nothing to do but wait and count the seconds as her time is runs out in a Home full of strangers.

Parades of old parents strolling and rolling
While no ones patrolling
And predators are trolling
Looking to sneak inside their room.
With discretion and success then
For them a profession
They remove every worldly possession
Leaving the old codgers to ponder their doom
So while your out running around
Till you’re running aground with your
Cunning new sounds and then
Suddenly drowned
Like an obscure dream
Moms in her home waiting salivating
And an-ti -cipating
While the nurse is placating while
You wait on call waiting
So fucking frustrating I wanna scream
So we placed Mom on display in a terrible way
Her new home’s always cold and lonely, where no one remembers her love. All alone she sits daily her brain slowly wasting away.
No flames burn eternal
We’re mere flesh and bone
And Mom keeps wondering
Why we left her alone
She thinks we’ve forgotten
And maybe we did
All her sacrifice and work
Is off of our grid
And none of us are there to see her silent tears
A harsh way to total the love through the years

Thank God for Echo Valley, Mom needs structure to keep her going.
Time to get up Mrs. Jones, come on I’ll wash you off and bring you down to breakfast. Here’s your medicine Hon. Time to go back to your room Mrs. Jones, please wait here in the hallway while we take care of the other fifty guests. Here’s your after breakfast memory medicine Hon. What’s that Mrs. Jones? Oh no honey, it hasn’t been four hours its been a half hour, an hour at most, come lets get you to your room. I’ll put the TV on so you can watch your favorite shows. Lunchtime Mrs. Jones. Lets get you ready for lunch. Time for your midday medicine Mrs. Jones. Mrs. Jones? Are you awake? Call the orderly I need some help.
Mrs. Jones??? Too late, call the family, now maybe one of them will come by to at least get her things. I guess she’s finally home.