Monday, January 29, 2007

Twenty-One Years Later Still Holding On
By Don Iannone

Mom died twenty-one years ago today
in a cancer-stained single bed
in the Reverand Oral Roberts' City of Faith Medical Center
in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
How fitting we should die in single beds--
yet another reminder, the journey home
is ours to take alone.
Mom never intended to die at fifty-eight,
but I doubt she would be ready to go at any age.
Death was Mom's constant fear,
and her fear was the death of her.
I know, because she birthed her fear into me,
her first child, born on a cold snowy January 19, 1951.
I often think back upon the last time I saw Mom alive
in that single ghost-white-sheeted bed.
I knew she would die soon,
but she still clutched a single thread of hope
that her God would spare her saying good-bye
to all she loved and all she dreaded in her life.
Her voice was hollow and empty
when I kissed her good-bye for the last time.
She was ready for her pain to be over,
but like all of us, she clutched life in any form
rather than surrendering her pain,
no matter how unbearable.
Five days later,
they called me out of a business meeting
in downtown Cleveland,
to tell me that Mom had finally lost the fight.
A large part of my life flashed before me
as I tried to imagine life without the woman
who brought me into this world.
At her funeral, my sister Diana,
my brother Doug, and I encircled each other
and cried the heaviest tears
our lives had ever known.
The tears have finally dried,
but twenty-one years later,
there is still a piece of me
that holds onto a piece of her,
and in a strange sort of way,
I feel she holds onto a piece of me.

8 comments:

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

My mother died of cancer 18 years ago (at 46) so I know the same feeling. It leaves such an empty feeling. Each time I look at my children at night I wonder if she can see them.
Thank you for this -- makes me think.

samuru999 said...

This is so touching, Don!
Thank you for sharing it!

Margie

Pat Paulk said...

Someone gone, but always a part of them remains. 11 years ago, cancer also.

Don Iannone said...

Thanks Andrew, Pat, and Margie. It's never easy to say good-bye to those we love. Reminds me of Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bochelli

Time to Say Goodbye
Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bochelli

Quando sono solo
sogno all'orizzonte
e mancan le parole

si lo so che non c'e luce
in una stanza quando manca il sole
se non ci sei tu con me, con me
su le finestre
mostra a tutti il mio cuore
che hai acceso
chiudi dentro me
la luce che
hai incontrato per strada

Sarah:
When I'm alone
I dream of the horizon
and words fail me
There is no light
in a room where there is no sun
and there is no sun if you're not here with me, with me
From every window
unfurl my heart
the heart that you have won
Into me you've poured the light
the light that you found by the side of the road

Time to say goodbye (Con te partiro)
paesi che non ho mai
veduto e vissuto con te
adesso si li vivro
con te partiro
su navi per mari
che io lo so
no no non esistono piu
it's time to say goodbye (con te io li vivro)

Time to say goodbye
Places that I've never seen or
experienced with you
now I shall
I'll sail with you
upon ships across the seas
seas that exist no more
I'll revive them with you

Quando sei lontana
sogno all'orizzonte
e mancan le parole
e io si lo so
che sei con me con me
tu mia luna tu sei qui con me
mia solo tu sei qui con me
con me con me con me

Andrea:
When you're far away
I dream of the horizon
and words fail me
and of course I know that you're with me, with me
you, my moon, you are with me
my sun, you're here with me
with me, with me, with me

Time to say goodbye (Con te partiro)
paesi che non ho mai
veduto e vissuto con te
adesso si li vivro
con te partiro
su navi per mari
che io lo so
no no non esistono piu
con te io li vivro
Con te partiro
su navi per mari
che io lo so
no no non esistono piu
con te io li vivro
Con te partiro

Time to say goodbye
Places that I've never seen or
experienced with you
now I shall
I'll sail with you
upon ships across the seas
seas that exist no more
I'll revive them with you

Both:
I'll go with you
upon ships across the seas
seas that exist no more
I'll revive them with you
I'll go with you.
I'll go with you.

jel said...

we know we are going to lose them someday , but to lose them that way, is sadest let! 3year ago I lost my dad to cancer!

thanks Don, for sharing with us!

(((huggs)))

Cerebralwaste said...

Very touching Don.

Janice said...

Poignant write Don and brings back a few long ago memories. Fear of death left when I got caught, on a bike, in the middle of an extremely busy highway. I was certain I was going to die. The most unimaginable peacefulness arose and I was in almost a trance when I finally made it off the road. A few minutes later it finally hit what had almost happened and I nearly fainted from shock :) To this day I can still remember that unbelievable peace. Thank you for this post.

Dan said...

Thanks so much, Brother Don...!

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