Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Five Years Hence

It’s five years ago today that my mom passed away; how time flies.

I was teaching an all-day summer philosophy for children class and got a call at lunchtime from my sister that mom’s cancer had taken a turn for the worse and that I’d better fly to Madison to bid farewell to her; she died, though before I got there, just like my dad, who also breathed his last while I was en route by air to see him off.

The sad thing, in both cases, was that I didn’t get to say good-bye; what’s comforting is that, in some sense, I’ll never have to; since I wasn’t there at the moment of demise, I can still imagine that they’re both still here—or there, as the case may be.

I realized, the other day that, coincidentally (or not, really), I’ve also been writing this weblog for essentially five years. My first posting was August 4, 2004, less than a fortnight after I became an orphan, something I wrote about in one of those early entries.

And so, it’s occurred to me that 327 Words has been—and I guess continues to be—a part of my grieving process.

One way of looking at it is some kind of attempt to affirm that, while my mom and dad are gone, at least I’m still here. The regular postings—and especially my challenge to go 327 days in a row writing a 327 word essay—are probably a weird way of ensuring myself that I exist; not cogito ergo sum, but scripto ergo sum.

To commemorate the day today, I had some foods at lunch my mom would have liked: a green bean salad, some dark rye bread, a stinky cheese, washed down with a rose wine I think she’d have gone for. I wish I could have shared them with her in person; writing about doing so, even though it’s all I’ve got now, pales miserably.


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