Til one night, in the south sea light, this to her he said...
I'll build a bamboo bungalow for you...big enough for two, my darling, big enough for you.
We'll be married, happy we'll be, under the bamboo, under the bamboo tree.”
“And you'll be M–I-N-E mine, I'll be T-H-I-N-E thine, and I'll L-O-V-E love you all the T-I-M-E time...”
Linda's crying, and so then am I, as the sun rises and smacks me in the face. Another day, another race.
The yard wasn't a big one then. But Linda was home. Maybe with Lassie, maybe in the VW bug. I was small then. I loved Linda, so of course I ran to her and wrapped her in my biggest boo bear hug. She swung me in a circle, tightly in her boo bear arms.
I can't count the days that I haven't missed my baby sister. From my earliest day's, all I wanted was for Linda to come home. Of course nothing has changed. The greatest challenge in missing my sister was everyone else was missing her too. Everyone.
Of course she wasn't my baby sister, she was the sister who caught me as I came into the world. And the only thing she ever did wrong was not putting me back, getting rid of me, or otherwise saving me from this. But I can't blame her, the game seemed worth playing at the time.
But this day, Mom was wresting in the hospital. I had driven down from the big city, a successful puff of hot air. I knew I wasn't anyone, but the thought still gave me a grift. Mom was dieing, but no one would admit it. She was in a hospital for mid-landers. Not here, not there.
Linda was there. Of course. And then so was I.
I remembered the love Mom and Dad shared, the times in the car singing, the joy we shared in the simple things, and I started singing a Cannibal King.
Mom was dieing of bladder cancer. Slowly, every day, bleeding out. And everyday they fixed her. Cauterizing her, stopping the bleeding. She was in the hospital with pneumonia, and bleeding. I remembered as they stuck the needle in her back to drain her lung. I remembered waiting to see how the procedures went as they burnt her bladder.
That day, I think she was low in blood. Her lunges were ok, I think. I started singing that song, and Mom joined in, weak but happy. She was my Zulu maid. Singing, she had a heart attack, but she never missed a beat. That was my Mom.
A few months later I kissed her good bye, but in my mind she'll always be singing that song.
If I'd asked for a better Mom, well, there just couldn't be.