06. April 2013 · Comments Off on After · Categories: G. 8 years

After I ran up the aisle and kissed my mother, I remember only that her cheek was cold as stone in winter and that it shocked me.

Someone took me home.   I was not at my mother’s funeral.  They told me that my father was there, but he did not come to the house.

I am not exactly an orphan, but I feel like one.

My older cousin Brites tries to console me.  She is not exactly an orphan either.  Her father, my uncle, died before she could remember him.  When she was little, her mother brought her and her brother to our grandmother’s house, and she did not come back for them.   Brites misses her mother too.

She said, you know what I do?  I take my pillow and pretend that it is my mother, and I hug it.  It helps.

That night, I take my pillow, but I don’t want to hug it.  I hurl it across the room.  I am about to go and pick it up when I remember Titi in the other bed.  She looks asleep, but I don’t take the chance of waking her.  I sleep without my pillow.

I have a dream.   There is a place that does not look real.  It is outdoors.  The sky has grey and blue clouds.   Everything is glowing with a strange blue light.   To the side, I see a stream of people, all dressed in simple gowns, slowly walking past me.   Each person walks alone, one behind another.  They do not look at me.  They look in the distance, straight ahead.

I see my mother.  She looks different, but I am sure it is my mother.  She is like the others, walking past me, looking in the distance.  I call out to her.  She does not seem to hear me.

Someone lets me know that my mother has to go on her own journey.  But she will be fine.  And I too, will be fine.

View of Toledo

Many years later, when I saw “View of Toledo” by El Greco, it was like seeing the landscape in that dream.  Instead of the line of towers, there was a line of people that started at my left.


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