The Year My Home Place Burned Down

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Just my thoughts about losing my mother.

Submitted: August 11, 2012

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Submitted: August 11, 2012



The Year My Home Place Burned Down

I am a 49 year old man. My Mama passed away on April 19, 2012 with colon cancer. I still cry for her. I am her baby after all. Some nights I am fortunate enough to see Mama in my dreams, the form of sweet and precious memories. I love that, but hate the moment of waking, of knowing once again that Mama is gone for now.

I grew up in a military family. We moved every two to five years when I was a child. Most people can tell you about the town where they spent their whole life. They can tell you about the people they have known even since before school began for them. They tell you about the old home place. I never envied them until now. There is not a "home place" for me to go to. Most homes we lived in over the years have been torn down (Barstow, Camp Pendleton, El Toro, Milan Arsenal, etc.). The house we lived in, the city, the state... none of that ever mattered. Mama was there. Home was wherever Mama was. Mama was home. She was ever my "home place". Now she is gone. Cancer burned down the one place I ever called home... Mama's arms and heart.

Like anyone would, I wanted to help her. All kinds of people were trying to help Mama, but to no effect. I watched her go down much too quickly, with myself becoming more and more unable to help. Helpless as even suggesting help became a sin. As though with all those useless buckets of water being thrown upon that fire, somehow the bucket I offered was tainted. Maybe it was, but it could have been thrown aside when I was not looking. At least allow me to think I was being helpful... especially when there was no hope of help. I was no stranger in an elevator or waiting room. I was Mama's son. My love for her was just as strong and genuine as anyone else's.

The morning Mama passed away I was sitting in a truck stop in Parowan, Utah. I knew it would be this particular morning. I was less than three hours away, but the law didn't allow me to drive any further no matter what the emergency. I was hoping to get to Mesquite before Mama passed. Dawn was fast approaching. My sweet wife called me with the news. I did get to Mesquite, just too late. I cried and waved as I passed the casinos in the early morning hours. I waved and said, "I love you Mama. Goodbye." I kept moving towards Los Angeles. The strange thing about losing someone you really love is how, eerily, the world keeps moving along and almost nobody else notices. All I could do is keep working and wait for the funeral date to arrive. I traveled alone, truly alone... when I should not have been, alone. I took comfort in those blessed dreams. I drive my seven hundred miles each day in anticipation of those dreams I believe were sent by God to comfort me when I parked.

Sadly, the dreams made from my memories are becoming less frequent now. I see Mama less and less. I hear her voice less and less. I fear that soon those happy dreams will turn to ash and blow away forever no matter how hard I try to contain them. Each day, I pray for one more dream to carry me back home to my smiling Mama, where I can be hugged, kissed, and loved... by my sweet Mama just one more time. Please sleep, let me go home just one more time. Just one more time please? I miss Mama.

© Copyright 2018 Charles Alfred. All rights reserved.

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