After a long morning of getting my late Mum’s now unneeded walkers, various wheelchairs, canes, portable bidets, and other medical paraphernalia organized in the basement and hauled away by Junk Luggers — it was only fitting to be able to reward myself by hopping on a Harlem Line train to Grand Central (30 minutes or so away) to buy some herb on Lex and 45th from the Green Truck folks, as Manhattan cops looked the other way across the boulevard. (It turns out my arthritic knees love Indica, but the rest of me prefers Sativa hands down.)
It was great, also, going to an old fashioned diner, ordering a stack of blueberry pancakes with sausages and real maple syrup. It was just as great going to the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx and learning about an insect called the sphinx moth and enjoying watching my wife enjoy herself.
The main objectives for this NY trip was to (a) get rid of stuff I don’t want in the house I inherited from my parents (some of it being too painful to keep), (b) take care of taxes and legal business, and (c) determine if my dog would like it in NY.
After a few days, there was no question in my mind that poochie girl would love Westchester.
Check out the last pic in the gallery below: that is the Boy Scout field in Bronxville where she’ll soon be taking over the grounds and bossing many admirers around, two short weeks from now. *
I have felt profound waves of sadness come and go out of the blue since Mum died. I sometimes play You Can Close Your Eyes on YouTube; the dog comforts me whenever I do that, especially when my eyes well up. She jumps up on my lap when tears start hitting the keyboard. She licks them off my face, and looks at me with her big brown eyes as if to say never mind, you still have me.
Sentimentality for me has always lead to drink, to lost nights that ran into years. I should have thought myself as a stronger person — perhaps a confirmed stoic, one who reads Marcus Aurelius’ meditations every night, by dint of sandalwood-scented amber candlelight, whilst reclining on a bed of nails.
But I am not a stoic. I am just an old man who is devastated that his Mum has died.
I wish I could have bought weed vape for her last year, but it was still early days in terms of pot being legal in NYS. She was in such pain so much of the time, and the doctors would not even give her Tramadol to kill the pain from her lung cancer and other ailments.
Instead, the barbaric system in the US forced my mother to endure unimaginable pain till the very last, when, in the final month she was alive, they begrudgingly consented to administer her liquid morphine.
I know she wanted so very much to die, since 2020 at least, after the awful years of suffering. Like others who have watched a parent die after intense physical pain, I am happy she is no longer suffering. Mum has finally closed her eyes. She doesn’t have to feel like that any more, when the body finally breaks down, and living becomes an endless hell.
Now she has slipped away. This isn’t the “bye for now” she always said to me in her English little old lady voice whenever we finished talking on the phone.
On the Friday she died, I was alone with her until 2 hours before she passed.
Just like with my father, I had left the hospice for the day moments before her life ended, and soon after I got home, the phone rang.
A nurse I barely knew called to tell me how sorry she was. In effect, a stranger told me on the phone that my mother was no longer.
I have wasted much of my life away.
It would please Mum if I did not fritter away too much of the time I have left, until the time comes for me, too, to close my eyes one final time.