Thursday, March 28, 2024

Mom's Last Full Moon...


I came out of rehearsal last night, and the full Worm Moon of March actually took my breath away. It was so gorgeous rising above us in a sphere of peach colored light. I stood in the Furth parking lot for the longest time just watching and thinking. Of course, you know how much I love the full moon and spend hours gazing and writing about the moon. This one was different though. As I stood watching, my thoughts went to my parents. First to my dad who loved the moon even more than I do. When he visited us on the farm, he would sit out on our porch swing and watch the sun go down over Doc’s fields and the moon rise in our own woods. He always sang, “I see the moon, and the moon sees me.” That song I sing over and over to my grandchildren.  Secondly, my thoughts went to my mom. My mom lies dying in hospice, and this will be her last full moon with us.

I guess we all know the time will come to say good-bye to our parents. My dad left us fourteen years ago and now my mom is ready to make her own journey. I sit with my sister, Jessie, and watch the changes. Since I didn’t grow up here, most of you never met my parents. My dad, as you do know from this column, was a theatre guy. We played the piano together, shared our love of theatre, watched the moon, and memorized poetry. My mom was the complete opposite. She was a glamorous mother. She had more beauty in her than in her four daughters combined. We marveled at the way she dressed, and in her beauty. I was a bit different from my mom. I am more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. She was always hoping I would cut my hair or get married or get a normal job.

Most of you are familiar with her love stories. After my dad died, the six of us took turns taking her places, sharing our lives with her. I took her to Ocracoke with me. She had a great time visiting with Philip, helping out with his brother’s wedding. Kathy was along for the journey, and we all loved introducing her to the Ocracoke way of life. She loved it there She even participated in Hands Across the Sand with us. The rest of the brothers and sisters took her to different locations. My sister, Jessie, took her on a cruise for her Halloween birthday from Boston to Nova Scotia. It was there she met Dick, the new love of her life. Dick lost his wife several years earlier, and decided he needed to do something for himself, so he booked the same cruise. Of course, he fell in love with her at once. Who didn’t? After the cruise, he went to Houston to visit her and then she went to England to visit him. A year later they were married outside of London. I flew to her wedding to stand up with her. They were happy. They spent half of the year in England and then the winter months in North Palm Beach.

Two years ago, Dick became sick and one beautiful spring day, he died. My mom was just lost without him. Jessie drove down and picked her up even though she protested thinking she should be going back to England. It has been hard watching my mom mourn the loss of two lovely men who both loved her dearly. Now it is time to join them.

In hospice, my mom reaches for them…or so we think. The nurses think it is interesting that she reaches high even while sleeping. Does she see them? Or her parents? Or her lovely brother, my Uncle Dean? I guess we do not have answers for that. I do know this. My mom is strong and is a fighter. She has defied the laws of hospice until now. Jessie said to me, “She will not go quietly into the night.” My dad’s love of poetry still creeps into our lives as she quoted Dylan Thomas.

I watched the moon slide across the town last night. Over the courthouse, over the countryside, over sleeping babies, over those cozily watching basketball in their homes.

My mom’s last full moon.

“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

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