I dropped Lea off to ballet last Monday and when she exited the truck I stayed a minute and watched her walk in the front door. Her coltish legs reaching up to the sky in her pink tights. I felt like I wanted to watch her forever, getting out and walking in, over and over, so I didn't miss any nuance of the motion. Or of the moment. Which is the only moment that was real to me then; that I actually knew was happening.
Because it could have been the end of everything right there. Which it was, I suppose, since each moment's ending is really a little death. And, I recognize that and so, I didn't want to not know it while it was happening.
I couldn't stay though. Not just stay there and sit there in my truck watching the moment because, you know, the moment ended. It ended quick as moments do, and besides, the school considers it remiss if a parent pulls up and parks in the no-parking lane. And of course, like a blink she was already gone, long gone, having simply vanished before my eyes because her energy catapults her so swiftly to the next part of her life. There is no slowing down when you are 13, there just isn't. And there is nothing more you want to do when your 44.
As I was pulling away and thinking about it, I said aloud to the emptiness of the dead, "You're missing everything, Mother." I waited for the response I never get, and so I followed up with quiet resignation, under my breath I whispered, "You've missed everything."
Last night I had another dream like ones I have sometimes where I call my mother's phone and she doesn't answer. I'll call again and again and often even go to her house to look for her, and she will be gone. The lights out. Like she has been gone away for a long time. And then finally as I get so desperate to find her during one final call, she will answer. There is great relief for me, but in the dream she is often preoccupied with something and often packing again for another trip. It feels like she has left the family and that she is no longer part of my life. I can't convince her to stay. In the dream she has moved on with a companion, usually a man, and they are traveling.
Once a long time ago, right after she died, in a dream she told me that she had a lot to do where she is now so we could no longer meet and talk like we used to. I believed that to be the time where I let her go to her new life. Or her death. Her death-life, I guess. And so, now I realize when I awaken from the current dreams, the ones where she is engrossed in her own preparations, I have to recognize that there is no return from where she is.
My mind might conjure up her image as reassurance, though. In these cases I like to think the Dream-Maker as a kind of benevolent Abstract, so that in this way It soothes me when I get too frantic in my search for her.