It’s been nearly 8 months now since she made her grand exit.

The funny thing is, seems to me I’ve thought about her more in this last some months since then than I had in the last five years of her life.

Maybe I’m just unable to perceive this correctly and that just isn’t so. But it seems so.

You’d have thought I’d have been ready. All those years playing close to the edge; dancing in the dragon’s jaws – false alarms and serious repercussions – her illnesses preceded her like a dark cloud on her own landscape…

For all her recalcitrance and difficulty, I miss her. I miss what was in her and no where else that I’ve known other than my own children – that sense of being known. She knew me. For all her ability to twist the scene to one of her disenfranchisement, she knew me. She might pull her own punches, but I couldn’t pull any on her to save my life. She could call me out faster than a New York Minute.

Somehow in her knowing of me, I knew myself. Call it the most long lived reflection – call it family or familiar – human, beast, companion… one who has lived within your space and known you up close and personal…

Got me to thinking of Mississippi – moving there with my four boys – from Hawaii (!) talk about culture shock. We went from being “F’in Haoles” to being shunned for making friends with the Black kids first!

oh my.

I remember the sense of freedom I felt as it all came into being around me: that I was suddenly in a new place, with people who I did not know and who did not know me: I could create myself into whatever I wanted with no constraints – and I did.

I was capable, competent, direct and honest while containing my own perspective so as to observe what I found in front of me and determine how I would respond to it.

I was empowered by my own willingness to take on roles and responsibilities I’d never had before and make them happen.

But what made all of that possible was a connection to a handful of those who knew me – with whom I could be uncensored and real and express my own true observances of the bigotry and limited thinking I was surrounded by – which I chose not to engage by remaining within “neutral” territory when I communicated with the people around me. Except for a few, I kept my true feelings to myself.

Since she’s left she doesn’t speak to me. Not in direct words, anyway…

Not like Daddy, who came instantly – in my dreams and even broad daylight – to play, and share and laugh over the non existence of death.

She comes to me less personally and more directly in her way…

Two days before she made her move, she sent a storm that left me isolated – separated from the emails and calls from all who were with her trying to reach me and warn me of her eminent passing – She took me out of the game. It’s a pattern of hers. She has always tried to protect me from that which I cannot be protected from: that which, ultimately I have not needed protection from. But I understand it – I am a mother too. (She would argue: not a mother of girl children! – It’s different!) She is probably right.

A pair of Mockingbirds took up residence in my Spring time garden. I knew they were her… or she them. I’m not sure how that works, but I knew.

She sent the perfect final message the weekend she left me:
I stood out in the darkened night under a suddenly clear sky after 2 days of 100 mph winds and rain – When I looked up, there, directly over head was Orion. His bow strung – His Stance True. In that moment, my youngest son came out to join me. “There’s Orion” I said as he joined me in the darkened garden. We looked up and as we watched the storm clouds came back in – as they framed Orion they left the constellation clear so that his “body” was formed in the clear sky around his starry silhouette. The clouds moved into a perfect outline of his shape in the sky – forming the man, around the constellation
and we both saw it.

After a moment, they rolled in and the sky was a thick mass of storm returned…

As I came back into the house, my husband asked “What’s Up?”
I looked at him blankly, and without thinking said “Everyone’s up, honey. Everyone. Ma, BPa,
Daddy, Everyone. Everyone’s Up.”

It was Saturday night, January 5th, near midnight – or 3:00 a.m. where mom was – What I didn’t know was that she had slipped into a final comatose state some 12 hours earlier…
When I would pick up the now orking phone to call her Sunday, I would find a voice mail
from my brother, left some 20 minutes earlier, telling me of her passing.

She began sending me signs and symbols even before she left.

In the moments surrounding her death I was walking on the beach along a winter ocean full of the froth of storms. I found a piece of quartz. It was large and triangular and had a yellow band in its center…

I wondered what quartz was doing on the ocean shore – and then realized that it must have come off of one of the large rocks in front of the houses along the beach… I put it back in the wall.

The next day I went back and retrieved it – understanding a little late that she had sent it to me. It sits in our sacred space – a totem of experience.

There are some who say that the most important and powerful thing that is required of life is to be known – to be really truly and wholly known by at least one other in our experience.

I know that is what she always felt she was reaching for and never finding in those of us around her who seem incapable of seeing – but I have come to know in a way I never knew I was taking for granted, what it was she was seeking.

When we finally come to build that knowingness of ourselves within our selves and no longer need to rely on those outside of us to show us their awareness of who we are, we will have evolved to the level of those who we deem “autistic” or “retarded” among us – We are evolving, but perhaps not in the ways we seem to think we are…

In the end, I am grateful: grateful she was here in my life. Grateful for the love that I can still feel flowing between us – even is she isn’t speaking to me (yet) directly.

G’night Muzzi. I’m so glad I was thy little girl.
For all that I was so sure, at the time, that I wasn’t.

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