He would have liked this I think. He used to call me his 'mourning' child when my teen angst wardrobe existed largely of black, black & black accessories. Many more of the bright colors of this cross have been added over the years.
It's been a complicated year & has turned our family's focus to my mom who is fading in her own way now. Part of the angst is FEAR I'm sure; WHO IS this man or woman-child when the generation before us has gone? I've heard the term 'orphan' bantered around a lot this past year as friends parents continue to exit. We feel so much of the promise of life as our babies strain down the canal into the light! Later it calls up the promise of death as we barrel ever faster in our own arching towards the light beyond. It seems to me that terror of how rapidly TIME seems to SPEED UP is really the slippery slope towards our acceptance of our own mortality.
The night before my dad died we spoke on the phone & when I asked him how he was doing he asked me, 'Why is this taking so long?!' I could hear his exhaustion & found myself apologizing for the length of time it was taking for him to go. Everyone had said their goodbyes, including him & this last conversation seemed futile somehow. I remember sitting there listening to his shallow breath before I hung up.
The next morning I awoke from a really deep sleep; two hours after he passed, the phone ringing again. I went in to the bathroom later & from the next room I felt & heard the only comforting sign of his passing then or since. His now calm, strong & steady breathing, before it slowly faded away....