Saturday, March 24, 2018

My Mother Remembers Her Mother's Death

My Mother stopped speaking.

The memory had caught her.

One-minute she was there in front of me, telling me about the house in the woods in Poland, and then she wasn’t.

She was in the past where her mother was still alive, still loving, still loved, and it was clear from the look of terror on my Mother’s face it was a past she didn’t want to leave because she knew leaving the past meant entering a world where her mother had been murdered by the Germans, shot in the face over and over, and left on the kitchen floor.

My Mother suddenly opened her mouth to say “oh” or “no” or some other word of useless, powerless outrage, but the word never came.  Instead, there was the word that was no word and yet every word.

It was the first word in the language of grief, the dry mother sob that caught in her throat and gave birth to one painful child after another until her throat and her eyes and her mouth filled with tears and a pain she could never escape.

It scared me.  I knew I could not stop it, no one could stop it.  I was as powerless as she was.  A terrible thing had happened, and for my Mother this terrible thing would never end.  An evil had entered the world, and from the moment it entered this evil would frame every other moment of my Mother’s life and touch every other moment and bring it close to an evil that she would never forget, never shake off.

I looked at my mother.

She looked confused, lost, powerless, just as confused, lost, powerless as I was.

I wanted to grab some gun and kill the thing that had entered the room and staked out its claim on my Mother’s soul.  But I knew what my Mother also knew.  No gun or pistol or bullet could ever touch the thing that touched my mother and killed some holy place in her.  No bullet would ever bring my Mother’s mother back.

A hell of a world.

And my Mother’s sobs could do nothing to free her from it.


To read more about my mom just scroll down this blog, or read my book about my mom and dad, Echoes of Tattered Tongues. Available at Amazon.

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