Sunday, July 4, 2021

Once Upon a Walk Report - Crazy Lane

 Somehow during the process of purging photos and getting organized in what became a series of posts with the title of, Once Upon a Walk Report..., I missed at least one folder from 2013. In consideration of that and in consideration of another event, I'm backtracking to 2013 here. I have to confess, I'm struggling a bit right now. This is going to be an emotional post. 

July 4th, 2011 is the day my cat, Lucy and I officially moved back into my childhood home to take care of my parents, my biological mother and my stepfather. Ten years, some of which feels a million miles away, while other pieces of those ten years gone are so in tune with my psyche it's palpable. It's also, of course, situational. I'm here, right now. I'm also here, in my past. 

When Lucy and I finally settled in on that 4th of July, 10 years ago, it was out of a strong commitment to take care of my parents, as their health was in decline. I thought they should be able to spend as much of their final days as possible in their home. However, my stepfather was in the hospital and as it turned out he never returned home. He passed away under hospice care three weeks to the day after my arrival. Before he left something changed in our relationship. I put a whole bunch of baggage aside and broke through a lot of what kept me from accepting him for who he was, while discarding much of who he was to me through the last half of my childhood and beyond.

My mom was still sort of okay in 2011. At least she was able to get around the house and she spent a lot of time reading. One of my side projects besides housework, shopping and taking care of meals, was a dive into a couple of large Tupperware containers of old photos, many of which predated my birth. I would sort through these and often pull together small collections of images to engage in discussions while my mother was having breakfast. That was a good experience for both of us.

But time moves fast and things were about to change. Which brings me to these images from 2013. The folder in question is dated, February 24th, 2013. It contains 236 images from said date up to March 16, 2013. February 24, 2013 was the day it really struck me. It was the day I realized in no uncertain terms that my mother's death was imminent. That was a Sunday, my sister was visiting that day and I was honored with time to go for a walk toward the end of her visit.  These photos represent 10 days before my mother's passing on March 5, 2013 up into the week that followed. 

February 24, 2013

 First allow me to explain the title of this post. Crazy Lane is a song by a German band named, RPWL. I was about one mile into the walk and about 150 yards from the garden when this song came on my iPod. Two minutes in, I was a wreck. Here are the opening lyrics...

Say goodbye to your broken heart
Follow me onto a peaceful plane
By the way, your friends will be beside you
I never thought our life would be an easy way
What's beyond the words we have to say?
But close to you, I'm always there beside you

So why is it now?
Somewhere, somehow
Try to reach my heart
And you'll always be the light leading my way

Crazy lane, at last the end is near
Learn to fly, to where you once have been
Come with me and the world is in our hands
Don't give up 'cause love will find its way

And right there I completely lost it. I broke down and cried. Good thing it was a Sunday on a college campus and nobody was around. Here's the full song...

Here are some photos chosen from that day.

This male Calypte anna hummingbird calmed me down. I took quite a few pictures of him while sitting on a bench near the Acacia shrub in which he was perched.

 I didn't have a lot of time so once I gathered my composure I took off for a quick loop around the campus on my way back home.

February 28, 2013

This photo has been my desktop image for several years now, across two computers. It was taken with me butting right up against the house in front of what was then my mother's bedroom.

Bee on Borago officinalis.

 March 3, 2013

There was a walk on March 1st and the 3rd. I only took 9 and 13 photographs, respectively. While I remember all of the photos I don't have any recollection of the walks or what prompted or permitted them. It wasn't until the evening of the 4th that I fell into despair. My mother slept peacefully from the afternoon of the 4th until she passed away the next morning. The hospice nurse was on her way the morning of the 5th. On the phone and once she arrived she tried to convince me everything was okay. We had clocked mom's respiration rate on the phone together. It was considered "normal".

March 5, 2013

I don't remember falling asleep or waking up. I remember checking on my mom over and over, calling for the nurse and calling my sister. I was mostly at my mother's bedside talking to her, holding and stroking her arm. I talked to her about the wildflowers that were just starting to bloom outside her windows. I shared with her the beliefs which she believed. There was no response but I felt she heard me. I took short breaks in my room across the hall to cry. She was breathing when the nurse arrived. I went outside to usher the nurse into the house. She was speaking to my mother as she checked her vitals. She looked up at me with a blank stare and said there was no pulse. She had passed away when I left the room.

My sister and her husband arrived a short while later. I think I was in shock. I spent a little time alone with my mom and then all I wanted was to be alone. That wasn't going to happen for awhile. 

Flowers my sister brought...

 March 6, 2013

I don't remember the day at all. I'm sure there was stuff I needed to do and it probably got done. Early that evening I took a walk.

These dandelions were close to home. The sun was setting behind them. I was feeling some sort of metaphoric perception about my mother passing and the seeds of the dandelions.

Back at home...

March 8, 2013

From an early evening walk.

From home.

This picture of a female Calypte anna was taken right in front of my mother's bedroom windows. She was quite fond of hummingbirds.

March 8, 2013

Another early evening walk to the botanical garden.

Male Calypte anna hummingbird on California Redbud (Cercis occidentalis).

 March 12, 2011

At home with a ladybug.

Once Upon a Walk Report reports are again forthcoming. I'm still trying to get organized on a new computer with multiple hard drives and tens of thousands of images scattered about. I had a serious set back dealing with a hard drive manufacturer for close to a month. I won't get started... but maybe later... they deserve some bad press.

Cheers, happy fourth of July. For me it's mostly an evening (several actually) of concern for dogs and cats, both outside and in, exposed to a bunch of unnecessary booms and bangs. I'm especially concerned about my buddy Stan. He's a sweet boy.

1 comment:

  1. You will be hard pressed to ever post anything more moving and beautiful than you have here. I well remember the time surrounding your mom’s passing. I shared a similar experience when my mother in law spent her last weeks in our home. You have a lovely spirit my friend.