Sunday, January 24, 2016

That Night She Died

Chloris Boone, about 21 years old
I hope she does not die while I am in foreign lands. This thought occurred several times before leaving the United States last September. My mother had escaped death before, astonishing even seasoned workers in the hospice field. At one point I had been called to her side by both her caregivers who were certain she was dying, and after flying from New Mexico to California and arriving at her side, that evening she beat me at a game of cards. My brother and sister who live nearby shook their heads at her turn around but did not put it past her. I stayed another seven days, waiting for her to die, but she was phenomenal. Her neighbor arrived with a fresh bag of books from the library, which she finished in no time, (with speed-reading skill), and we watched music videos together and listened to her favorite rock groups—The Eagles, and The Band. When I left, I swore I would not be jumping on an airplane every several months when an alarm went off.

About the time I arrived in New Zealand from Bali, Indonesia, I was four months into travel and began having morbid feelings but could not decipher them. Perhaps I had become too unsettled from travel around the globe. Maybe I was not prepared to go home and start hustling for income. Had I not resolved the hurt from divorce a year earlier? 
With her five children
New Zealand's beauty and majesty entranced me and I threw myself into it, yet could not shake feelings of sadness. Then came a message from one of the caretakers that Mom's heart was failing and to please call. I spoke with my mother and she sounded far away and muffled. She wanted to know where I was. The next day I called again and she sounded much better, even accusing me of being narcissistic like my father and reminding me of the fable of the young man who fell in love with his image reflected in a pond. After I took exception and remarked I am quite aware of my flaws, she apologized and asked when would I go home to people who love me and want to see me. That night she died.

Her body has already been cremated. I am cutting short my time in New Zealand to go to Santa Barbara where my siblings have scheduled a memorial. I feel better now. My last ticket is to go home—not to mine, but to where my father and mother lived contentedly for 35 years.

More writing about Chloris and her home:

Private Sanctuary Of Love 

The Jig  

Created With Loving Care  


Chloris Boone,  08/26/1932 - 01/21/2016

New Zealand, South Island

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