Everything happens for a reason, even waking up with a start at midnight. It took me a minute to remember, actually 35 minutes to be exact. There are some memories you can't escape, they permeate your thoughts, and your feelings like a historical time stamp.
The room was still much like it is now. The television was turned to an old Lauren Bacall movie about a journey by train across the desert. The furniture was out of place, any thought of feng shui cast aside to make room for the hospital bed. It was positioned along the window so she could watch the falling snow. The television sat in between us, like a room divider with Dad and I sitting on the sofa, perhaps this is why I cannot imagine living in a one room studio.
It was a Monday night, the 22nd day of January, Mom was at home in hospice care and we were waiting. There is nothing else anyone can do at this stage in a terminal illness; not for the patient and not for their loved ones. Dad was resting, his eyes closed. It was my turn to check on Mom, to make sure she was comfortable, and administer a dose of morphine, if needed.
It took six steps to reach the bed from the sofa. A lifetime can unfold in six steps: the sound of her voice, the heartiness of her laugh, the bright smile that beamed from ear to ear, her hand reaching up to push a strand of hair away from her face, the strength of her hug filled with love--the unconditional love of a mother, wife, sister, aunt, best friend. In those six steps I felt the depth and breadth of my mother, Lucia Romano Preziotti and then she was gone. And with her a piece of my heart.
I will love you always and miss you forever Mom. :: Lucy Romano Preziotti (1928 - 2001).