So the story goes like this:
I just got out of the hospital. I thought I had 2 weeks to build this box. This is the most special box ever to come into being–this is the box that will hold my mother’s cremains until Jesus comes back. Literally.
In the kitchen, in various states of distress and dampness, lie pieces of pine and poplar (the lid is poplar) sporting photo transfer medium and stain in “gunstock”, in honour of my father’s lifelong passion for any of the various weaponry that fires bullets. When this box is finished, it will be decked out with bi-coloured satin (a cream and a mocha), foam in which the original plastic remains box will be nestled so it will not fall over covered with satin, and the flowers we put within it to keep her company and honour her until we meet again. Inside the lid is a photo of my mother and father on their wedding day. The lid, however, facing up, shows the photo of my mother as Dad first saw her–16 years old, beautiful and spirited. All these years later it is hard to believe that the photo itself is showing my mother in pain, her hand gently placed to show off her beautiful bone structure and to hide the fact that her tooth was so abscessed that her jaw was swollen up like a melon. My mother was always like that. She was the one to go hungry so we could eat. She was the one to give her coat that someone else would not be cold. I learned from this and try to practise it as well as she.
My hands have given in to the work I am doing. They too are various shades of paint and stain and glue. It is a mess beyond scrubbing and I wonder not that it does not cause me pause. This labour is that of love.
So the photo–I have codeine liquid (which tastes like the south end of a northbound horse), but it sends me into a loop from which I have trouble escaping. I have been running non-stop since I got out of the hospital and tonight…I decided that I would have a glass of wine. Yes, it did dull the pain–awesome. Yes, it did taste quite nice–a riesling usually does. But mostly, I sat and drank this glass and thought of Mom. Of being able to put her into the earth where she will be safe until Dad joins her. Where they will both rest together. Not soon, I pray. But when it happens, I know that they will be together, as they were meant to be. Separated by none throughout eternity. And in this, I am content.