Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Welcome Home


I woke up Monday morning hoping the previous day had been a nightmare.

It was a nightmare, but it was also too bloody real. Amy, the little girl from up the block, really was gone.

I went outside to toss some trash into the garbage can and saw my neighbor, this old Chinese lady I have known for years. She's a wonderful woman and a great person to have living next door.

We don't speak our respective languages, but we've done all right with hand gestures for the most part.

When I nodded up the street, indicating Amy's house, my neighbor pointed straight up to Heaven. And if there's any justice in this world, that's exactly where Amy is now.

Today is the sixth anniversary of my mother's death. I thought I had missed it and I wrote about it in an earlier version of this post--making sure to beat myself up, of course--but I was the victim of faulty intelligence, including my own.

And I probably would have forgotten anyway, given the way my head has been behaving in recent days. I've been caught up in a lot of crap at work, most of which is my own doing.

You would think that having just witnessed yet another painful death, another shocking example of how fragile life can be, that I would wise up and appreciate what's important in life and not get excited over the meaningless nonsense that happens to all of us in the course of a day.

Yeah, you'd think that, but for some reason, I'm not thinking it--I'm not thinking much at all lately.

Six years just flew right by. She is my light and my strength. I miss my mother in so many ways that I still cry when I think about her. I can still hear her voice, still see her face, and I wish she were here.

I was standing at DeKalb Avenue Monday morning on the way to work when I saw a little Chinese girl struggling with her mother, who was clearly scolding her. I know how mothers sound when they're annoyed, even if I don't understand the words.

It's hard not to think of Amy when I see a little Asian girl. I wanted to tell this woman not to yell at her daughter because you never know how long you'll have her.

I keep thinking-what if the last thing Amy's mother did was yell at her daughter--and then she lost her child? She would punish herself forever.

I suppose the doctors will eventually say that Amy died of natural causes, though there is nothing natural about the loss of such a precious little girl. It's about unnatural as you can get.

It's so frustrating--you have no one to curse at or attack. As sick as it sounds, if she had been murdered, at least you'd have someone you could hate, someone you'd try and kill with your bare hands.

I bought a bouquet of roses Monday night and took them to Amy's house. A man answering the door didn't seem to understand me and once again I thought that maybe I had gotten it wrong, that maybe she was still alive and recuperating.

But then the man called over a young fellow I had seen on Sunday and he accepted the flowers. Standing in the doorway, I could feel the grief in that house just spilling over like dank air.

I know that feeling, having gone through the same thing when I lost my mother and then my father.

A short time the young man and a young woman came to my door with a thank you card. It wasn't necessary, but I understand their need to follow protocol. They had tears in their eyes--as did I--so I kept the conversation short.

"Thank you so much for your kindness and thoughtfulness," the card says. "Amy loves pink and I know she would love the flowers that you've gotten for her."

I like the use of the present tense--"Amy loves--"; it keeps her with us for a little while longer.

When my mother died we all said she went straight up to Heaven. I'd like to think that she was waiting for Amy when she got there.

So now Amy has someone to take care of her and my mother, who had so much goodness in her heart, has a child she can love for all time.

It sounds like a good deal to me.

5 comments:

Paula said...

As you know Rob, I lost my Mom about a year and half ago. I still cry when I hear her favorite songs or when other things trigger a memory. I don't know if I'll ever stop crying about the loss of my Mom, but like a friend said to me, "Let it go, let it flow."

From what I've read, your Mom was a good woman and I know she's in heaven, just like my Mom is. Sometimes I "talk" to my Mom before I go to bed when I have a dilemma in my life or if I want to sort things out. Sometimes, she "answers" me in a dream so I know she's with me in spirit.

Just keep praying and living your life to the fullest. And, you know you can always call me. Love ya, Rob.

Rob K said...

Goodness, Paula, such a lovely comment and such great advice.

It's a shame we didn't get to know our respective mothers, but I like to think they're chattering away up in Heaven.

Neither one of them would want us to waste a minute mourning their loss, so we really should live life to the fullest.

And that call business goes in both directions--but you already knew that.

Brenda from Flatbush said...

My prayers--for your mom and for Amy. And for you through a rough time. I lost a kid/friend of my own earlier this year--a little guy with Down's, presumably to cardiovascular stuff no one knew about--and it was shattering, so unnatural; we no longer, thank God, live in a world that prepares us for the possibility of a child dying. Yikes.

Rob K said...

Thank you, Brenda, and I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

I don't there's really any way to prepare for something like this.

Rob K said...

"I don't think there's really any way to prepare for something like this."

That's what I meant to say, of course. Maybe someday I'll learn how to use that there preview button.