August 31st


I’m sitting here as usual, my spot on the sofa looking out the window thinking two things. This cloud I’ve chased has different variations of colors. It’s big. From the left corner of the window to the right it went from a soft looking fluff to a stretched out one shade blue/grey.

My second though is I should have NEVER went downstairs for a clean shirt, leaving my mother alone with my incompetent father six years ago. I should have called EMS when I woke up that morning at 5AM, not her doctor for more pain medication.  I should have been more involved during her week long anguish and less worried about work and walking the 2 miles home in the dark. Should have paid more interest in her surgery, that was a simple lacroscopic procedure and voiced my concerns more loudly- instead of the normal brushoff I use to get. I should have informed myself more. I shouldn’t have- I should have – It’s long gone and done and there is nothing I can do to fix this one.

When do you stop mourning a loved one?

When does it scab over to where if you pick at it, it wont bleed?

When will I stop feeling so guilty about my actions that led up to, the time of and after her death?

I’m not the full out howling cry where air is hard to come by. My cheeks are burning and I keep clamping down on my jaw – making my molars click. My vision swims and tears hang off my eyelashes. My nose is stuffy. I don’t recall how I spent the past anniversaries’. I have a screenshot of last year’s cell phone set up but what did I do that day? What did I do all the other years?

Did I ask this same question? Have this same narrative?


I can remember everything of the day she died, no detail has faded. EMT workers didn’t have names, nurses didn’t have names, doctors that walked to and fro don’t have names but I remember their faces. The African American EMT that tried to get information from my father, her hair was plaited on both sides, large chest, she was wearing Guyana gold. (Its what I call gold that is extremely yellow and bright.) I had to talk for him, he knew nothing. The obese white EMT, male, balding, pallid complexion, he was working on her, did something to her leg in hopes to get her heart started again. I called them and We waited 15 minutes for them to show. She died 10 minutes before they got there in my arms. The weather was beautiful. The sky was so brightly blue, there were no clouds. The temperature was moderate, yet I was wearing my dirty yellow fleece, loose grey sleep pants and a plain blue shirt – the kind you buy at art stores.

That attire, I wore similarly and strait for three years.

A cheap sky blue shirt of dry material and baggy grey ‘yoga’ pants from Old Navy.

Which day do I mourn?

They admitted her again to the hospital the 31st, but my father gave up hope on the 1st. Her blood pressure kept dropping, the doctors couldn’t do anything he told me. I wasn’t there. That night, the 31st, they moved her in Intensive Care – she was in the Trauma room for 6 hours? A singular room. Her doctor, the surgeon took so long to get a hold of. The intensive Care room, had many. A man with bandaged hands and was strapped to his bed, malnourished, African American,  a doctor, Latino, and nurse, Caucasian, sitting in the room behind a work station that seemed more like barricaded shield. I don’t remember the other inhabitants – just my family, when I finally called the closer of my two aunts. A group of family members of both sides, going in and out, a parade, trying to coax her eyelids to flutter, a response here or there but it was all involuntary responses. Blinking. When I think back logically if she survived the first night, there would have been massive brain damage.

All this over a gallbladder removal.

I remember conversations of other doctors, the tall blond RN who kept pacing the hall and his wireless frames. I remember a elderly couple from the ER room speaking about her niece, hoping her husband’s hip would be OK.  The nurses who tried to say everything is OK, cause I wouldn’t stop crying. My father’s excuses for why this happened, ‘They pumped her up with too much gas’, ‘They didn’t keep her long enough’, ‘The gas should have left! She wasn’t this bloated before the surgery!’

‘Look she is responding to your name Jackie’.

‘You need to get another job and be strong for me.’

I hate my name being shortened dear auntie.

You’re the parent! Shouldn’t you get a job and be a adult?! This wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t go out drinking – leaving her alone when I WAS WORKING.

I’m exhausted- this entry took three hours to write. Its not finessed, it doesn’t say everything I need to say and that’s it.

Its no surprise I have a hard time remembering what I did in the past six years. I’m burnt and overwhelmed by all the things I remember from that one day but I can say the weather is always nice on this day of Labor day.

No matter how old I get I will always mourn for mom.

-Bad touch Bear



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