A Bit of Real Life, Global, travel

Life After Alice: Two Weeks

After a long, protracted illness, I lost my mother in mid-July. I was on a plane, asleep, headed for San Francisco when she let go.

Although I’m her only child, health proxy, and power of attorney, I didn’t receive a call from CNR in Brooklyn, or Kings County, where she was taken for cardiac arrest. I never heard from Brooklyn Hospital about her transfer to CNR, a nursing facility I had no experience with. And I never got a thorough answer from Hospice of New York, who, despite saying she only had a few months left, abruptly decided she was no longer a candidate for their services. Lots of talk about Medicare, Medicaid: the usual bureaucratic two-step.

When I heard about her transition–via a voicemail from the funeral home sending its condolences, then through a reverend at my church–I was jet lagged but comfy at my college friend’s gorgeous ranch home in Oakland. I’d been to LA once in my 20s and was unimpressed. But Oakland was different. The “Brooklyn of the West,” it’s called. I felt that immediately, that sense that I belonged.

I cried quietly, curled up on the sofa. My only thought was that at last, her suffering was over. Eight years of suffering, first from depression, and later, depression-fueled refusal to address compounding health concerns. My girlfriends–who’ve known me on some level since I was 18–wanted to know what I wanted to do. Within five minutes I said, “I’m here. Let’s try to have a normal day.”

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19 thoughts on “Life After Alice: Two Weeks”

  1. What a tribute to your Mom and the life that the two of you shared, so intimately. May you find comfort in your memories. You know all too well that she is very proud of who you are at the core. She will be with you FOREVER – never forget that, as you navigate on, because you must. Stay in touch with your feelings and embrace the process of grieving. This vehicle called writing allows you to be open with all of us. It is your gift to us and it allows us to journey alongside you, and stay in your corner.
    You are nurtured and loved by Alice and many more!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nira, I’m so grateful to you for sharing your heart and your truth with us. As I shared with you, also as an only child, I’m fervently praying for you, and am smiling and crying along with you as you recount the beautiful memories of the legacy your mom left with you. She was intentional, you should continue to be the same as you honor her thru your life. Sending love and light, Joelle

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  3. Thank you for sharing such an intimate journey with us. I read and cried and smiled and felt your connection with your mom. It gave me a space to “consider my mind” (my father used to say) as it pertains to my relationship with my mom. What you shared with Alice is unique and absolutely beautiful on so many levels. I have a love of travel and encourage my children to do so as well. Many times finances limit us. The part that inspired me the most was how she planned and helped you to plan your travels. Almost as if she knew what was ahead and that you needed to maybe meet her in the sky…

    Unfortunately there are always family members/family friends with opinions that amount nothing but noise in the end. Truly living your best life is honoring Alice. And you’re right, she knows what’s up, more than ever now.

    May your memories bring comfort even on the hardest of days. Alice couldn’t have had a better daughter, Nira. Blessings.

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  4. Thank you for choosing to stay close to us, your digital family. Each time you type and click, you invite our presence & affirm our choice to remain involved.

    The connection I have with you defies articulation – hence the brevity.

    I, too, love you.

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  5. Beautiful piece Nira. The last five sentences captured my heart and made me put my hand to my chest. As I always say, you will always carry Alice in your heart. If you are not familiar with a poem by EE Cummings called Carry You In My Heart please look it up. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We are glad you found peace of mind when you visited us in Oaktown. We are sorry your Game of Throne night was a bit noisy. Our bad!

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  7. Nira, thank you for sharing this intimate journey and tribute to your Mom. As my mother’s only child I can relate to this loss. My heart is always heavy for those who endure this pain, but I can say from my own experience time does help with the healing. I believe that God puts us in the right place at the right time surrounded by the right people even when we don’t realize. You remain in my thoughts and prayers. May you find solace in knowing that She will live on thru you forever. Sending you much love.

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  8. Nira, your words and photos pair seamlessly. They are in perfect balance. Thank you for sharing a bit of your journey with us. The love you and your mom share has a powerful presence. It will always remain.

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