se réveiller lentement & douloureusement

Slowly I wake.

Dawn has been slowly slipping the sheet off of my skin, but now the full force of light is forcing itself on my bare and vulnerable form.

Numb slumber was so much easier.  Why are there no blinds to shut out this light?  I am not ready for the mourning.


It is little things.  The pug that used to sleep with mom now sleeps with me.  Yet every night (if you can call 4 to 6 am “night”) when we go down the hall she stubbornly sits at Mom’s closed door.  I push her with my foot to keep her going just as I have to push myself to keep going.  I choke up and beg her: Please do not do this to me!


I was on the phone to a dear friend who I have known since he was five.  My mother was a friend of his parents and knew him from birth.  We have long known that he was gay but he has remained in the closet.  In talking, he was as blue as I because of the end of a relationship.  He did not want to burden me when he knew how hard this has been on me.  I told him, “Do I want to worry about my problems or yours?” so he told me.  He was hesitant and vague about the details.  I could almost hear the deep breath he took before he used the first personal pronoun He.  Then the details came.  I was hurt for his loss, proud for his strength, and so happy that he had at last felt comfortable enough in his skin to admit it.

  • As soon as I hung up the phone I looked to where Mom sat.  I knew she would be so happy to hear that he had finally come out to me.  I had actually forgotten for a minute until I realized that I was sitting in a rearranged room and that she was no longer there.

I looked down at the time on the computer the other night and noticed that it was terribly quiet for 8:30 at night.  My first thought was, Mom must have gone to bed early.  At times, it still seems like she must be in her room… hasn’t woken up yet or went to bed early.  My brain will not wrap around the fact that she is dead.


Yet I wake.  I have hit snooze as many times as I could manage.  The blankets have been pulled off of me and the drapes opened.  It is the first day in a new school.  It is the first day of a new job.  It is the first step in a new country where I do not speak the language or know the customs.  Everything ahead is unknown and I do not know where to put my feet.  I can only do one thing at a time.  I put my feet on the edge of the bed.  I rise.  I shower.  I put on my most comfortable armor.  I make coffee (lots of coffee).  I drag my feet as I look out the window to check the weather and test the waters.


Maybe I can call in sick and stall this job called life one more day.


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