Friday, January 08, 2010

She Is Missed

Christmas marks the turning of a new solar year. Three days after the solstice the days begin to lengthen. Light is brought back to us with the promise of warmth to follow. One week later, the Julian calendar marks the New Year. We all go out and celebrate the symbolic passing of old to new, ironically repeating an ageless cycle. Now, a week on from New Year's, is another symbolic date. And again it feels like more than just a date but a real time of change.

It was a year ago today that my Mom passed away. January 8th, 2009 wasn't a time of light, but a time of darkness.

I spent most of that day flying back to Canada to visit my sick mother. As the plane was taxiing into the gate I was suddenly overwhelmed with odd feelings. I became dizzy and extremely nauseous. For a number of minutes all I could do was pant and hold the air sickness bag. I wasn't air sick.

The customs and baggage lines never felt longer. Cell phones don't work within Pearson airport. Something felt surreal. When I finally got to the transport desk, to catch my shuttle to the hospital, I got told I had a message from home.

That whole experience was like having colour turned off. Like a cloud, so thick and black, parked over me. Daylight was almost night. And try as I have, a part of the nausea and a part of the darkness have remained. It's the place in my soul I used to feel my mother. The part that told me when it was her calling on the phone. That part that told me when she died.

And yet today felt different. A year later and the thick dark cloud is slowly lifting. Like the long sloping line of a warm front, the horizon appears to be clear sky.

Today isn't a colourful day. But it is bright. The world outside is entirely white. A thick fog last night fell onto the trees and buildings as a beautiful pure-white ice. My eyes see it as a symbolic start, a point where darkness begins to give room to light. Today marks my new year.