Time, Entropy and a Mother’s Death

And to think this terrible anniversary almost slipped by unmarked.

Greek cemetery stele at Karameikos: a child bids farewell to his dead mother.But not so much time has passed – as marked in emotion and memory. In years it has been 10. And even as the conscious mind wanders farther and farther away from that moment in both time and space, the subconscious does not, can not, will not forget.

Lately I’ve been having trouble sleeping. In spite of the fact that my immune system seems to have finally overcome my tenacious Xmas-time viral malady, and I’ve been able to venture forth once more on my bicycle; in spite of the fact that I have small but steady income from work that I enjoy (although at times it can be by turns frustrating and boring) – in spite of regular exercise and relative lack of worries, sleep has been short and fitful for some days now.

It’s been long enough that I had begun to worry about it – it had begun to affect my mood, which is always somewhat fragile at best. But this is a futile worry; worse than futile really – herein lies a vicious cycle.

The night before last, however, I finally slept soundly for nearly eight hours — out of exhaustion more than anything else, I think. I awoke refreshed and relieved. But last night, after four short hours, I woke, for no apparent reason, the wisps of some un-recalled dream quickly scattering to the winds of consciousness. Instinctively I realized that further sleep was not to be had this night

I glanced at my watch and spied the date – it seemingly leaped at me off the face of my watch: January 20 – the day after. And suddenly I knew why sleep was loathe to come to me lately.

It seems ghosts have long memories; shades never forget, even if the living do, preoccupied as we are with seemingly important mortal affairs.

And yet, somehow, grim as it may seem, I’m glad. Grim as it was, I don’t want to forget my mother’s death. I don’t want to forget anything about her, even though as the years pass memories, both good and bad, inevitably fade.

Time and entropy rob of us of everything, in the end.

So even though I’m half a world and a decade away from that terrible, awful time, I’m glad that ghosts are restless. I’m glad that somewhere deep in my emotional, limbic brain, some core part of me has been aware of this passing anniversary on a subliminal level, even as I have been diverted by life in an exotic locale and preoccupations with the present and near future.

I’ve said these words to you before and will say them again (and again), Mother: you are gone, but I haven’t forgotten. Even though the years pass and new experiences and memories pile up inside my my head, crowding precious recollections, the grief and longing are still there, fresh as they ever were, just under the surface.

And then as now, I’d give nearly anything to have you back, whole, healthy, and aware, even if just for an hour or two.

I still love you and miss you, Mom; time and entropy be dammed.