My mother passed two weeks after our final conversation. I don’t remember if I told her I loved her, or if she said the same to me. It was implied, wasn’t it?
We spoke a few times, but nothing as lucid as our final conversation. She talked – rambled, really, with words that were like scattered egg shells — about missing my father, or insisting he was in the other room, or taking a bath, or watering the garden. He never really left her, he was just somewhere else. She was never confused about who I was, no clashing layers of past- and present-me. The expressions on her face were limited to pain, sorrow, and irritation. She called me a good boy once, thought about it for a time, and then frowned as if doubting herself for making such a grand statement. I knew I was a disappointment to her, to the family, but I was still her boy and she would always have to quantify her love for me, and that broke her heart. And mine. Connie left but came back; I never did until it was too late to matter.
Excerpt from Family Anatomy, a work-in-progress