In Loving Memory of
Rose M. Cioppa

I wrote his about one month after my Mom's death. It was cathartic for me, and I feel like it is good thing to share.. I see her everywhere Looking around I can see reminders of her-even in things that shouldn't be connected Certain images walking around my mind I see her bending over the kitchen table the solid knocking sound the dough board makes against the table The grainy feeling of the sugar and flour when she let me help her. I see her sewing hear her humming and singing the old songs Hanging Christmas decorations cursing the lights and the flimsy white plastic garland I hear her, but I can't hear her I can no longer hear the nuances I remember a musical sound but I can't hear the sound. I see ger sitting on the bed in her room. That night, the night when she went into the hospital and never came out. Her white hair, shocking against her white skin brown eyes clouded with confusion, but searching for humor Then the next image, the clearest image Lying lifeless in the hospital bed eyes slightly opened-but empty Her hands, fingers bent from arthritis but still, my mother's hands cold--lifeless breasts sagging off her body to each side and in her mouth the tube where they tried to breathe life back into her at the end of the tube a drop of amber liquid-probably iodine or betadine but looking strangely like blood I was fascinated by it--hanging on holding on. My father knelt daown next to the bed holding her hand-stroking her hair crying, sobbing No Rosie, No! So helpless, so human for the first time I saw him as an old man not so strong not so certain He took her wedding ring off. The doctor came in -telling us how lucky we were The surgery would have killed her anyway Do you want an autopsy? Organ donor? Cremation? Undertaker? Burial, coffins dirt, ground, its all a blur The day my mother died was the day I picked out her death box The day we bought a cemetary plot Picking cards, poems, music, readings. Greeting people-hearinf hollow condolences Being amazed that even in my mothers death they could gossip and be cruel to one another People crying, crying feeling guilty, telling me how beautiful my mother looks she's not beautiful SHE IS DEAD green dress my earrings were not good enough for her to wear The day was warm, sunny the day we buried her I don't remember the ceremony I don't remember the mass All I remember is that Beautiful Pink and White rose covered death box staying there, while we pulled away to go to breakfast She's in the ground and my biggest decision is ham or cheese I cry, I laugh at memories I'd trade anything to have her back-just to touch WARM once more

I love you Mom, I miss you everyday....Donna



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