Mother (still, whisper, eyes closed): What day is it?
Daughter (leaning in to whisper back): It's today.
I found a green hickory nut and remembered finding green beechnuts on the logging road and bringing them into Mom's room in the library, scraping their skins with my thumbnail and inhaling the flavor of earthy tree power, damp and spicy, dark and mysterious.
And sprays of Grace and Peace.
Smelling her sweater, suddenly realizing I don't know her smell, her clothes do not hold it for me. Your smell is the ground, the First Smell, so that I can't even smell it. Instead, everything else I smell is not-it.
I remember falling so in love with her, adoring her, looking at her and feeling such pure love. There were times I felt we were melting together, not into each other, but into the Something Else, the Heart of Love.
I remember laying my head on her chest, my ear on her heart, wanting to access once more that memory of First Sound, to kindle this lifelong connection with this body that made my body and was now going away. Wanting to listen so hard, so intently, that I would be able to remember it, retrieve it, distinguish and discern it behind all else. To feel it as I heard it. To become of her again.
She passed on, and she passed through, and she passed beyond, and I remember.