I have posted experiences on here once before. My post was entitled "The music box and other things". Since that post I lost my account somehow, and have now created this one. In any case, its time to talk about some incidents after my encounters in the first post. Many things have changed since the box and shadows in Milton West Virginia. I know that 2012 was a horrible year for my family. And spirits didn't help it.
It was March 21. The day that changed it all. I wish that day was erased from calendars for the rest of time. At 5:30 I get a call from my mother. Mamaw was at Cabell-Huntington Hospital, time was short. She had fallen at the house on Main Street that morning. The paramedics came, brought her to that place of white walls and death choked corridors. The pain, the awful pain she endured that day. I race to the hospital, in fifteen minutes. Ignoring stop signs and red lights, trying to get there in time. Running. Running through the long twisting halls out of breath. My lungs burning. The ICU wing right there, my mother gazing into oblivion. Through that door, the thin, unrecognizable person upon the bed, barely alive. The shock I felt was unnatural.
By 6:30, the light faded. All that was left was the pumping of that stupid pace maker. Grief. Shock. Anger. It all followed. The love and remnants of family that she forged, now lay shattered. I was so hurt, angry at how it could happen within ten days of moving out. Ten days. The other people I once knew as kin could say I was horrible to her. But I gave her four years of love, laughter and life. I gave her a reason to go on.
The ceremonies were held on the 22nd and 23rd of March. The long line of cars following the hearse wound its way from the funeral home to the little church of Salem through beautiful ridges and bottoms. Then to the open and sunny hilltop Morrison Cemetery.
The weeks passed, and nothing felt good. Everything was like an empty hole. Mom half mad. My sixteen year old sister taking on the role of parent. Life crumbled. Each waking breath agonizing and unwanted.
June. It was finally my birthday. A well deserved holiday in historic and beautiful Saint Augustine FL. The live oaks and ancient stone streets. The spires and bell towers of college and cathedral. The lions guarding entrance from the bay. The breeze over the dunes to our fourth floor room. Magnificent for all it's worth.
I love that town. Founded in 1565, burned by pirates and surrendered to America without cannon fire. Its truly a great destination. The Castillo details San Marco. The city gates, yellow fever cemetery. Ghosts and legends galore.
Walking down Saint George Street is pleasant, if not hot and backbreaking. The sky grew dark. The breeze rushed into town. Suddenly a thunderclap and a great deluge occurred. The terracotta spouts and fountains gurgling with fresh, non chlorinated water. Saint George was empty save for myself and a few homeless men.
The bus station had a lone clerk inside. He loved my Hawthorne Heights shirt, and we make small talk. The room had great big fans high above to help the AC in the summer heat. In the far corner of the gift shop, near the vending machine, a woman was sitting having, I guess, coffee. And I remember her dress was very nice. Navy blue and sorta fifties vintage.
Something about her was familiar. I couldn't figure it out though. "The last bus just ran from Marina station" from behind me. The clerk, a nice rather handsome guy my age had started me. So, I called mom to come pick me up. As I wait the rain lightened up a bit so I decided to cross the street and go through the city gates and over to the Huguenot cemetery. Ever hear of a dead ringer? Haha said to originally been a bell for catatonic fever victims.
Mom meets me at the gates. As we drive off I notice the woman again standing by the seawall. She turns, and I could've sworn it was Mamaw. Although 60 years younger. She waved and smiled as we drove past. And as I looked back at her a tall lanky man walked up to her and took her hand and they walked toward the fortress.
Its insane to think she would be here. Let alone with the only man she ever loved romantically. They had never been to that town on the Matanzas Bay. But I'm glad to know she's there, watching. Waiting. Loving.