Remembering Mama (and Daddy, too)

Save fingertips clicking across a soft keyboard, and the purr of a coffee-colored feline sleeping, the night is filled with absolute silence. There is a stillness lingering, the subtle essence of vanilla and sugar settling into the air. In these first minutes of a new day and an anniversary, or two.

The first anniversary is a joyful one, a day when my mom and dad stood before their family and friends exchanging vows and their devotion for one another.

My mom wore a high-collared long sleeved tea-length wedding dress, my father a dapper black suit and tie. I know this from the black and white photos nestled into old scrapbooks and archived photo sleeves. The images are from before and after, I haven't yet found one taken at the church. I recognize the sweeping banister in the dining room and the arch at the entryway between the living room and the foyer, all taken at the house. This house, their house, our house.

Later when I remember the second anniversary, the not so pleasant one, the sequential montage will come to mind in a flash of archways and bannisters, wooden parquet floors and cornice moldings, swirling around a hospital bed. I will remember the muted television and the flash of Lauren Bacall on a train traveling through the desert, the silence interrupted by an intermittent beat of a respirator, my father snoring on the couch. The absence of a grey striped cat, and the eerie stillness that lingers indefinitely when you realize that the quiet you are hearing is your mother's last breath saying goodbye. 

Remembering Mama, 14 Years Gone, Forever in Our Hearts
Lucy Romano Preziotti
9/19/28 - 1/23/00
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