Walking outside and into my garden this morning, I was greeted by the usual early morning sights and sounds; the sun shining brightly in the sky and birds chirping happily in the trees.
The distant sound of a chainsaw, possibly a neighbour pruning trees, preparing their garden for the upcoming hot summer months.
Cutie Cat rubbed her dainty little body against my legs. Today, I imagine she is reminding me that it’s her birthday. She turns three today. As she rolls around on the grass, her eyes squinted against the bright sun light, I feel her blissful happiness and her enjoyment of the recent warmer weather.
The world goes on; the birds keep singing, the trees, grass and flowers keep on growing. The universe shows no regard for what happened, seventeen years ago today.
The sun shone in the sky on the morning of that day also, just as it is today. Memories of that day are embedded in my mind, to remain forever.
The weather had recently become warmer, as it does every year at the end of August. I thought the world might end that day, seventeen long years ago. But it didn’t. Life continued; the world kept on spinning.
And I continued to breathe.
I knew she was still breathing too, as I left her hospital room. A strong pulse moved in her neck. She was still with me, as I said goodbye, for the last time. Her fine, shining white hair curled gently around her face. Her strong, gentle, healing hands rested motionless on the bed. Her eyes remained closed. And the pulse in her neck kept beating.
Every particle of her hair, her hands and her face had to be savoured, to be held in my memory for as long as time.
Out in the hospital car park, I started up the car, the sounds of the radio instantly coming through the speakers. “All by myself, don’t wanna be, all by myself anymore”. It was Eric Carmen’s voice, singing one of her favourite songs. Funny, I hadn’t heard that song in years.
Upon arriving home, a sudden urgency hit me. The chores had to be done; the clothes washed, the beds made, the breakfast dishes washed. It all had to be finished, immediately.
And then I was told she had gone.
A nurse had watched me leave the room; she had watched me leave, before entering the room herself, only to find the pulse had stopped.
Instinct, which I had wanted to ignore, had already told me the news that I hadn’t wanted to hear in words. The song on the car radio…
Her physical body left the earth that day, seventeen years ago today. But I know in my heart that she never did leave. A golden thread keeps us close to each other at all times. We can never be separated, not even by “death”.
She remains with me every day, guiding me, protecting me, watching my children grow.
Because that’s what mother’s do.
And that’s why the world goes on.