After a flight from Florence to Charlotte and then DCA. And it’s been an incredible past seven days. Home’s now redefined for me and I’ll have to see how this new definition takes form as time now moves on without my mom.
I’ll write something else later but for now I’m revelling in the ear shattering monastic silence that my aloneness this morning at home in Bethesda offers me. It’s good. It’s allowing me to reflect on how lush and rich and raw all of the humanity was last week. I suck at describing things with one or two words but if I had to, I would use “joyous relief” to describe the passing of my mother and the week of her funeral and outpouring of love from all who came to be with us.
I cannot begin to express my amazement that Toad drove nine hundred miles one-way to be with me and my mom and family.
There remains hope for this ugly world when Tom Tevlin, my tumblr friend and father of two lovely daughters, gets off work and drives thirteen hours the day before my mom’s service, bagpipes and kit in tow, and pipes her in and out of the sanctuary and then at the gravesite from a distance, sees her home, piping Amazing Grace. He then drives home to New Jersey after trying to eat a piece of fried chicken at my mom’s house with a knife and fork. My family is still bowled over by his gesture. (Not the knife and fork fried chicken rookie greenhorn thing, dumb-ass) They absolutely loved his presence.
Both of those mugwumps will get exclusive blog stories of praise and appreciation sometime soon.
And my redneck country-ass brother from Greenville, N.C. was there too—in brown suede shoes. Kinda kills the assumption that these so called friendships, courtesy of the blogosphere are really at best, ersatz alliances—amorphic and when called to form. Non-existent when needed. Shut up.
Your personal emails to me have been incredible too. Here’s an excerpt from one that I got about ten days ago when my mom was still deciding to leave.
“I hope your S.C. riding is not too bumpy. And if it is, you are riding the bumps with grace and love. I am confident you are. I have not been where you are, so I can only imagine the reflection, the joy, the sorrow, the transitory nature of watching someone you love deeply slide to death. To stopping. To stop. We are such 'go' creatures. Stopping is often so elusive; we enjoy slowing down so that we can take in all the senses. Falling in love is slowing down. Falling out of love is the senses gone amuck. We don't taste, feel, smell, hear any more--at least not the way we once did. Maybe death brings us back to love since it rocks our senses. And that, I believe, is a good thing: to be rocked by love. Rocked in both meanings of the word: comforted gently and also to experience life with vigor and vitality, dancing and not caring if anyone is watching. I hope that you are rocked by your mom”.
And I replied to it again today with this…
“The first paragraph, as lovely as it was the first time I read it, is now lovelier. It struck me so the first time, as my still alive mother was amidst contemplating her departure, because it captured for me another way to look at death and loss and letting go. And I loved how love and cadence were key themes. And now after burying my mother, I’ve again read it simultaneously through the somewhat weary eyes of grown man Dustin and the always present eyes of the six year old me—the ukulele playing Dusty. And its lushness is even greater”.
I’ll now smugly begin plowing through the piles of unattended life things that have either been ignored or on hold for so many weeks. Fake swagger will be my guise to prop me up till I regain my sea legs.
I appreciate all of you and my mom does too.