Sunday, May 14, 2006


This looks familiar, vaguely familiar
Almost unreal, yet it's too soon to feel yet
Close to my soul, yet so far away
I'm going to go back there someday
--The Great Gonzo

The sun shines today, and the wind's gone down some. It's been overcast, rainy and miserable for the last few days, and chilly. Maybe today will be nice. I want to believe it, but it doesn't matter what the weather's like. It's Mother's Day, and my mother has gone.

It was snowing and cold on the day she died. The week had been beautiful until then, but the forecast for that Thursday was for ice and snow and bitter cold. She'd gone into the hospital Wednesday, and something told me not to got to work the next day. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was something else.

She'd been in the hospital a lot the previous summer. She'd had major surgery. All that time, she never looked frail. She looked frail now. She looked small and lost, yet somehow peaceful. There was something she seemed to know, something she wasn't telling us, someplace she had to go.

Hold me in your thoughts, take me to your dreams
Touch me as I fall into view
When the winter comes keep the home fires lit
And I will be right next to you
--Warren Zevon

Of the many things I miss about Mom, more than anything I miss discussing music with her. Her tastes were so wide-ranging, and she was always open to new things. I was always taping new music for her that I thought she'd like. I was surprised by how much she'd like certain things--she loved Sparks and the Bonzo Dog Band and Was (Not Was), all pretty weird and esoteric--and constantly shocked by what she didn't like. She didn't like Neko Case because her voice and phrasing were "too country" for her. Odd, since Mom loved Loretta Lynn and June Carter. There were always surprises.

She didn't know Warren Zevon as a songwriter, she just knew him as that guy who showed up on David Letterman a lot. And she thought he was funny. But she was heartbroken when he announced he was dying of cancer. I taped his final album for her, and she called me as soon as she'd heard it. She was in tears. "It was just too much," she said. "People shouldn't die."

Well, no. They shouldn't.

I'm going to the cemetary today. I haven't been there since we buried her ashes, and on that occasion I was surrounded by family. I'll be alone when I go there today. I'll be reflecting on things I'd hoped I'd never have to consider, and going to places in my head that have remained unexplored.

I still haven't had the big breakdown I should have had by now. Crying jags, sure, little things that remind me, songs heard on the radio. But no big, prolonged period of unbearable sadness. Maybe I'm growing up. Maybe I'm just learning how to grieve.

I miss you but I know
I won't miss you but a million years or so
--Roger Miller