Well, it’s been a week and half. Like I said, an experiment and a challenge. I’ll keep trying!
Mariana stood in the middle of her mother’s living room feeling overwhelmed. The room still smelled a mixture of medicine and rose water. She gulped in painful breath of air and grabbed her chest. How was she going to do this, she wondered. She looked around at the old worn couch that had seen so many happy days. It’s cushions were sunk in deep from the years of cuddling, late night movies, children and grandchildren using it as a trampoline. Mariana had asked her mother many times if she wanted to replace the old couch and she always replied, “No. Your father and I bought that couch after we got married. It was our first purchase.” Looking at that sad blue withering flower couch, Mariana finally understood. That couch was memories.
Her eyes traveled to the fireplace mantel that displayed a long full life in pictures. Interspersed between the pictures of Mariana, her brothers and the the grandchildren were the ugly little figurines her mother collected. At the moment, Mariana could not think of them as ugly. Their frozen smiles and wide child eyes had an enduring quality of a time long gone.
Her eyes soon drifted to the bookshelf that was bursting full of old books and magazines. Some of Mariana’s colleges text books were housed there along with every copy of National Geographic for the past 30 years. The once bright yellow spines were now mustard from being covered with too much dust.
Mariana sighed. There was a corner she was refusing to look at. The corner where an empty hospital bed stood, it’s machines now silent. That will be the easiest to be rid of, she thought to herself. And with that thought, she slowly turned her head to the direction of the bed.
The lavender sheet was still pulled back from when the paramedics took her mother’s body. The purple tulips that were housed in the nightstand were dropping in sorrow as if their reason for being had been taken away.
Mariana slowly walked towards the bed, drawn to where her mother had spent her last moments. Tentatively, she placed a hand on to the bed, stroking the sheet lightly, trying to feel her mother’s presence. She raised a leg and slowly lowered herself onto the bed. Sighing she turned her gaze to the beautiful bay window that her mother insisted she be placed by. Mariana now understood why she wanted to be here – the view was stunning.
She had a view of the backyard, specifically the rose garden her father has planted so many years ago. She could see the three trees that were planted at the birth of each of her mother’s children. And right now, Mariana could see her own two daughters, still dressed in their purple dresses from the funeral, playing on the swing set her father had constructed when his first grandchild was born.
Tears slipped down Mariana’s face as she saw her mother’s life outside the window. This view is what gave her mother peace in those last few hours.