An Ode to Mama

We are mortals. Our feelings are mortals. Our purpose is mortal. As quick as we judge the nature of one’s being, our pedantic views only get in the way of understanding the truth. I lost my mother this morning. Her 6 years battle from kidney failure lead me to go back at her pictures and videos I’ve taken in the past. She held on to make sure we are ready. She understood suffering and its convolution with compassion, faith, self preservation, anger, and self pity.

Yesterday, I went to church with my sister next to the alley of ICU where Mama was confined. I prayed, “I surrender. Thy will be done.” The next morning, I was positive she’d be well, same as the past cardiac arrests she survived but to my surprise, we lost her. I was by myself in the room watching the doctors and medical staff reviving her heartbeat. The doctor came up to me twice to allay how a 30-min resuscitation could mean to her brain. After 30 mins of trying, I requested an hour to be with her body. I opened her eyes, rubbed my cheeks aginst her and laid next to her crouched like a kid. I whispered “Mama”, imagining her grizzled voice answering back. I did too many times noticing how the nurses were timidly rubbing their teary eyes watching me. I wanted to come after her, wherever she is now. And then there was this resounding question in my head– what is my purpose?
One of my sisters got in few hours later. We went about the whole process of getting cleared in the hospital as they call it. I was quiet the whole time which bothered my sister but my head was overwhelmingly boggled by thoughts and memories. We went out to buy water and food, and then a minute smoke to clear our heads. And I thought– I need a flicker of light to remind me why I’m here. As we walk back to the hospital, a 2 year old kid was laying there on the sidewalk (with 2 sleeping parents) unafraid to look through me. I gave him water and food brushing my hand on his head. Later today, we finally went home with the service Mama had arranged and paid for, years before her death.

I locked myself in the room to wallow in grief without a witness, except mama’s ID picture. WHY? WHY? WHY? Why am I so pained? Why am I here? I’m not contending His will but at least an answer would alleviate a pint of reasoning to my strength. Then I looked back and understood. I understood with a heavy heart.

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Abby Mabb

Snarly female. Occasional book reviewer.

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