My mother passed nine days after her last birthday celebration twenty years ago this month. It was a simple gathering with family in from out of town, airplanes flying over the great lakes to eat cake and say goodbye. The smaller grand kids blew out the candles that Mom couldn't and her consciousness floated in the opiate-like state that comes when our spirit is ready to transition.
Twenty years is a long time for a girl to be without her mother. The heart, like other muscles, mends itself with time and it has been years since I've been taken by those heaves of loss. Instead, I've learned to talk to her, my greatest angel, and co-exist with the gaping split in my chest that rocked me the moment she stopped breathing. That type of damage is a bonus gift hidden in the cloak of the grim reaper. He throws it over his shoulder as he walks away. Surprise.
There was one vacation in the 70's when we packed Pop's baby blue Chevy station wagon and drove away from smog and East LA to a seaside motel in San Simeon, California. Mom and I walked on the beach that night and as we sat on the sand, her soft arms around me, she said, "Whenever you are at the beach, think of me".
My move with my youngest daughter to the ocean two years ago was a whim and whimsical. We witness the sun rise and set on the Pacific most everyday. The sea collects my prayers. We see waves dance and seduce the sun rays. In the dark, the water roars the voice of all creation and the sounds of grand wings fly over us.
- Audelia Vejar Hernandez, October 8, 1924 to October 17, 1992