I’m the weird person who has a song associated to every major or memorable life event. Happy or sad occasion, I have a song that will take me right back to that specific day and time as if time hasn’t lapsed.
Currently it’s Good Days by SZA. Until this particular day, I had never truly listened to this song…I had just done one of the last things I ever wanted to do in life alone. Physically alone, because Brother was on the phone.
I was making my Mother’s final arrangements while she was still alive…
The hospice nurse thought that it would be easier to handle before rather than during this transition. I cannot tell you how much I tried to prepare myself for this. I couldn’t. My heart raced. I was fucking scared. I screamed. I was fucking angry. I threw shit, I banged shit and I broke shit. I just wanted to end the entire world. I didn’t give a fuck about anything or anyone at this point. I have never been here and I was completely ALONE. I am nearing the point where I have to tell my Mother, Goodbye. Goodbye. The word we did not say. See You later was our term. Goodbye was FOREVER. This felt like someone stabbing me in my chest and turning the knife counterclockwise. Over and over again, while I just sat and endured the pain. Digging deeper and deeper past my physical body and deep into my soul. My muthafuckin SOUL was aching!!! Do you understand what kind of pain that is???
After I sit in the car and give myself multiple pep talks, I walk inside. I’ve called because I don’t want to do too much talking. I’m 100% sure I’m going to fucking cry. I sit, shake and fiddle endlessly inside the funeral home. I still cannot make sense of me choosing a casket and vault for my Mother who is very much alive. I have not made peace with her transitioning soon. I don’t want this to be true. This woman…was not just my Mother…she was the truest of my true friends. She was my everything. I sat quietly with my Brother on FaceTime. I am sure to refer to her in the present because she is very much alive.
This is just planning. “Girl you are just planning, this does not mean anything. Get it together!”, I tell myself over and over again. I’ve been here before. But this time is different. THIS IS MY MOTHER!
I remember countless random conversations that we had about end of life. Things she said she wanted and things she absolutely did not want. Her biggest hell no was being put on display. We shared the same sentiment in this regard. I am just me. She was just she. She didn’t think she was pretty and neither do me. (That was our rhyme…❤️) We we just we. No label. In competition with no one. But one thing was for certain. We did not want people looking/staring at us. It’s funny because as I sat there at the table with the Funeral Director, I laughed. My Mom was truly a nut. Always being silly. (I’m sure that’s where I got it from) If someone stared at her a moment too long, she’d stick out her tongue. Smh. A grown woman. She was she, as I said. There was no one else like her and she didn’t give a shit. I loved that about her. She didn’t care what anybody thought. Her life was her own and she made of it what she wanted. No one else mattered. Except me and Tonka Truck Head lol. That was one thing that she always taught me. She’d say, “You are magical girl. There’s no one like you. Never let anyone dull your sparkle. And you better not come down off your thrown for no woman or man. I create nothing but greatness!” Once I got older I’d laugh at her speech. I thought it was funny…magical…ok Mom… (P.S. I’m a mermaid 🙄)
“No cars, no church. Private graveside service. I’ve already purchased the plot. Short, simple and sweet. No wake/viewing. No newspaper announcement. Immediate family viewing only after My Brother & I’s approval. I will write the obituary and complete the program. I’d like to assist with the design of the programs.”..I word vomited it all while tapping my foot and staring at the clock on the wall. All I could think was I have to wrap this up and get back to Best Friend. She is probably wondering what is taking me so long. She hated when I said I’d be right back and it was hours later. Say what you mean and mean what you say…that was her motto. And she stuck by it and tried to hold everyone else to it too.
I asked Brother if I covered it all, he agreed and I hurry the hell out of there. When I step outside and the sun hit me, I dropped my mask and take the deepest breath I could. My chest feels like ten elephants are sitting on top of me. I get in the car, hang up with Brother and head back to Best Friend. I get this strong feeling that she need me. She swears we were telepathic. I always played along. But foreal though…Mom I’m coming was what I was subconciously thinking just in case this shit was true. At this point, I believe in genies, fairies, vampires, zombies, heaven & hell, angels, Iron Man, WonderWoman, shit Donkey Kong. I reverted to an entire child again wanting nothing more than my Mother. If you don’t know how that feels, well I can’t make you. Believe me I don’t ever want to be there again.
I run not one but two red lights. I don’t even care. Mail me a ticket. I gotta get across town. I get a text from my aunt. Come on back now. I’m on the way Auntie…as fast as I can promise me. I reach the light not even a half a mile from her…
I sit and wait for it to turn green….I hear SZA and I sit and stare beyond what’s in front of me to listen,
Good day in my mind, safe to take a step out
Get some air now, let your edge out
Too soon, I spoke, you be heavy in my mind
Can you get the heck out?
I need rest now…Good Days by SZA
The song is interrupted when my phone rings…I look down and it’s the hospice nurse. My body instantly turns into an ice block, my heart seems to stop and I feel like every piece of hair I have on me is standing straight up. She asks me if anyone had called me. I hesitate to reply. I am approaching the stop sign to turn into the facility parking lot. I’ve never really been scared like this in my life. I didn’t want to hear anything she had to say other than my Mother was speaking or something positive. She says, I’m sorry Hun, your Mother passed away about 10 minutes ago…..she continues to talk and I hear absolute. nothing.
I can’t tell you what happened. I just remember being in the hallway sliding down the wall to avoid hitting the floor. The nurse walks me to her side because I’m adamant that I see her. I enter her room and I’m met with my Mother, who looks like she’s sleeping.
The little girl inside me is kicking, screaming and yelling. Her Mother is gone. On the exterior, all I can do is silently cry and hold her hand….my Best Friend is gone. What in the entire fuck!!!
What part of the game of Life is this???
My Mother was a huge lover of all music. It is why I use music to get through so much in life. It why it is always playing around me. It’s not surprising that of all songs to play, this one was playing when I was told she had transitioned. Right down to the words…she was heavy on my mind and heart before I got the call. And just the mere title of the song confirms for me that she was ok…and that she didn’t want me to be sad. It was a Good Day. She was no longer suffering, no longer depending on someone else to care for her when we know that she hated it.
So, this song lyrics loop through my head several times a day right now. It triggers so much for me. Sometimes I hear it and I can smile, knowing that we had some good damn days. And other times I can hear it and cry, knowing that this was the song that I was listening to when I was told that she’d left me.
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