The aria ended. The Phantom and I stood in silence there at the open window of the blog cupola. The man continued to play his flute. We floated on the evening
My mind drifted back to last summer, 2011. I thought of my little family that I took care of: Every morning getting my mother, Emma, up and dressed, during her last stages of dementia; helping her step down the sixteen stairs with their narrow treads and her iron grip on the balusters; getting her to the table to eat the breakfast she once prepared for herself – orange juice, oatmeal or Cheerios with bananas, strawberries and/or blueberries in skim milk. I thought of the times I’d prepare lunch for myself and run it up the back stairs to my studio, racing Jetta, Emma’s blue teacup poodle, who would run up the front stairs because the back stairs were too steep for her, and we’d see who got to my studio first so she could have her treat. Then Jetta got sick and I had her put to sleep in December 2012, four months before Emma’s passing. Then Emma got tired, so very tired. “I don’t know how I got here,” she said in her agitated state in January. “How do I get out of here?” I could see it coming. So did our hospice team. Their attention shifted away from her and to me.
Just then an osprey circled the field and flew straight at the Phantom and me standing at the cupola window, like we were in the control tower and it was coming in for a landing. The black mask across its eyes looked like the painted bands that wrap around the windshield and windows of a commercial jetliner.
“The Lone Raptor,” said the Phantom, “on his wings of tarnished silver.”
The osprey came close to the window, nodded, veered off to its left and was gone.
I remembered Emma as she was, before dementia tarnished her mind. Now, in June 2012, five, six, seven weeks after Emma’s passing I have found myself thinking, “Hmm, here I am all by myself, no little dog, no mother to care for, a house that suddenly got really big: Besides my writing, what do I do now? What is my spiritual path? My spiritual advisors tell me to continue my caregiving. How do I do that? What do I do?”
All the old thoughts stacked up on the roof of my mind like factory chimneys.
To be continued …
Hi Samantha – a wonderful way to remember your mother’s passing and that time – the Osprey is special … this is a lovely remembrance … cheers Hilary
Thank you, Hilary. There’s something mystical about the osprey, I think. My experience is that this beautiful bird appears in my life at strategic times and it flies right towards me, overhead, nods and then veers off.
A pleasure to see you here at my blog again. 🙂
Beautiful. I look forward to what comes next. 🙂
Thanks, Sara. That means a lot to me, coming from such an accomplished and imaginative writer as yourself. 🙂
Your talent is so lovely, I feel wrapped in the visuals that result from your words. I am above the staircase watching you and Jetta race for her treat. I am beside you as to speak with the hospice aide. And standing behind you and the prophet, receiving your special visit from the enchanting osprey. I was more than a reader. I was a witness to your magical, spiritual experience. Thank you for the stunning journey.
Thank you for your lovely compliment and observations, Marsha. The Phantom and I are glad to have you join us.
Good heavens!! We both wrote about Osprey… too funny. However, I LOVE your descriptions! As Patricia says, you are a gifted writer. Osprey truly are unique birds. Being up in your ‘control tower’ the Osprey must have felt you were trying to steal his territory. EXCELLENT POST! 😉
No stealing the osprey’s territory, Gwynn. Simply observing.
Yes, we Roos seem to be connected in our A-Z post titles.
Thanks for your great compliment on my writing.
O quite lovely Samantha thank you. Yes, those big questions are important ones that take time to flower. The vacuum will fill. Nothing can be rushed; it seems the osprey came by to give you a nod. Thank you for this lovely musical post.
Yes, the osprey flew in to give us a nod and a sign, I believe. Nothing can be rushed is what I’m learning — riding the waves — updrafts, or as I did when I was young, in the ocean.
Thanks, Susan. Well said. And I know you can appreciate the music.
Excellent! I look forward to reading tomorrow’s. You really are a gifted writer.
Words I love to hear, Patricia, as are you a gifted writer. I look forward to our bestsellers. 🙂
It would be nice if those bestsellers came in 2016, latest 2017. Then we could meet up in Italy, somewhere near San Marino or Firenza and have a nice evening meal and see the sights the next day. Maybe even take in a theatre show at the Scala in Verona, but that means traveling many kilometres with the car. The distances between those three places, I believe are about 3 to maybe 4 hours by car.
Have a nice evening Samantha.
You are so tempting me to work very hard to achieve a bestseller, Patricia. You have masterminded our trip and it sounds ideal — especially Firenze; I especially have wanted to go to Firenze (in my “R” post I mention Dante Alighieri). I have actually studied a map of that part of Italy to find distances between Firenze/Tuscany and the Tyrrhenian coast. San Marino sounds interesting, too. Frances Mayes inspires me in her “Under the Tuscan Sun” series of books.
People actually do this, Particia. Why not us. Yes!