Saturday, June 9, 2007

More Life, Going On

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.


Broken robin's egg
Tiny splash on our blacktop
Spotted while walking

Crown of golden fluff
Small mouth unhinged and skyward
No survivor's guilt

My friend's mother died
Please, God, don't let mine die, too
She was fairly young

Crown of tawny fringe
Named, like my friend, for granddad
Too young to get it

Death or Sports Car Pride

At work, we've got an online community for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) IBMers and every other IBMer who's interested in maintaining an exchange. Last fall, not long after the following experience happened, I wrote about it on that forum:

My mom was recovering from a hospitalization for colitis. One of the days when I went to visit her was especially warm and bright.

For what felt like miles and miles, I was on a two-laned road, following a guy driving a vivid blue Corvette convertible. A small, clear, blue glass dolphin was swinging from the rear-view mirror and the driver wore a white baseball cap.

This guy knows how to live, I decided. How much fun to have a convertible on a day like today! I looked to see his license plate, which had a vanity message: "Mahvet."

God, how weird! Mahvet, mahvet. Oy! "Mahvet" is the word in Hebrew for death. The angel of death has quite a sense of humor. Is this what he really looks like? A guy in a baseball cap, driving a convertible sports car?

I feared that mahvet was, God forbid, a sign of impending doom for my mother, or even me. I was so plagued that I had to post about it.

One of my colleagues and friends responded to the posting, "Are you sure he wasn't just showing off, telling everyone that it was his 'vette? Ugh! "Mah vet[te]! P.S., knock on wood, my mother has recovered and is fine now.

That's the comedy of errors I want to recall as I worry about my two friends' recent losses of their mothers. I don't want to look for signs and worry about my own mother's health, or Pat's mother's, but I do worry about both, as Pat and I get ready to be out of the country for the next six months, in India on business.

It's the biggest anxiety I have -- the potential for either of our mothers, God forbid, to become ill while we're away. In considering whether or not to accept the assignment, that figured in hugely, along with fearing that Pat and I will perhaps inadvertently disrespect Indian culture and get in trouble for it.

Our mothers, both, were enthusiastic when we told them about the opportunity to go to India. God bless them. There was no guilt pored on and I just pray that both of them will be healthily here when we return.

The mother-robin is feeding her babies again. Sitting at the window, they're just above eye-level, in the broad-leaved maple tree in our front yard.

How will she feel when they leave the nest? How will they feel without her corporeal nurturing?

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