Some of the different ways I saw my mom during my time with her in Deer Trail:

Motherly Mom. Looking at the three of us with pride, beaming, telling us in so many words what she thinks of us.

Womanly Mom. A woman, almost unknown to me. Proud and grande-Dame-ish. Suffering. Wondering.

Scared and confused Mom.

Brave and a little ridiculous Mom. She will try to walk anywhere, lift anything, clean whatever, just like she always could before.

Tiny Mom. She is so small. About half a fart, as Kyna would say. Really really frail.

Habituated Mom. She pats our backs as if we are hugging, when we are moving her from bed to walker or wheelchair.

Sibling Mom. In the night when she can’t sleep, she speaks to her sisters, her brothers, her mother. Others have told us they’re really, genuinely waiting on the other side for her. Do you think that’s true?

Pensive Mom. Looking out the window, seeming to listen to the birdsong. She can’t talk to us anymore but sometimes she still smiles.

Leaving Mom. We all see that it’s getting close to time for Mom to go, Mom most of all I bet. It’s like a slow motion scene at a train station, everyone waving goodbye to her. I can’t stand it, none of us can, but we all do.

Beloved Mom. All the people who came in ones, twos and threes while Mom was sick, are here together now. It’s a school gym, Mom’s school. Here’s her high school picture:



Absolutely furious Mom. Or perhaps All Powerful Mom. We weren’t sure how to interpret the absolutely unprecedented rainstorm that came on the morning she was to be buried. If you know Deer Trail, you know: this doesn’t happen.


It’s just not this green. It isn’t. But it was. We gave Mom the benefit of the doubt and when she seemed to be ready, we headed to the tiny Deer Trail Cemetary. Goodbye Mom.