I love to write. I love to blog. But I have been busy with not just work and the daily grind. My sisters and I have lost our mother who passed this June which is one reason why I have not been posting as often as I would like. Blogging has taken a back seat to paying Mom’s outstanding bills, meeting with lawyers, and cleaning out a 40 year old, 2 storied, childhood home. Therefore I have not done much in keeping up on my blog.
But I have written poems since my Mom’s passing. I haven’t written a whole slew of them;only three. But when they come they come out of me spontaneously and they make me cry. They are so spontaneous that I grab whatever paper and pen I have in reach that I just start jotting it down.
The day my Mom passed I was on my way to an AARP Driver Safety class in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. I took the Daniel K Inouye Highway. The drive was just above the cloud line and I felt I was driving to heaven.
During my class I got a call from my sister who said Mom had died. I took the Hamakua route back home so that I could stop by the North Hawaii Community Hawaii Hospital where Mom died. On the drive back I thought of the following poem:
Above the Clouds
I took a drive
Above the clouds today
Little did I know
That on this day
My mother’s life
Would float away
A few days after Mom’s passing I called her land line number. Mom never had a mobile phone because she never liked the idea of having to conform to joining the Joneses. If I needed to call I would have to call her good, ole fashioned land line phone. Before we ended her phone service I would call for old times sake. On the eve of termination however, this poem came to my mind:
I use to call home
And someone would always answer
But now I can’t call home
Because no one will answer
Then there is our childhood home that we have to clean out. As children that house was full of noise; the collapsing of a crib on all three of us, Mom’s bread machine whirring, Dad’s sawing in the garage, and the hum drum of friends and relatives coming over to visit.
Now when I go there to clean it out I hear nothing. I have to blast NPR news on the radio just to fill the empty void. What was once a home has just now become a shell of its former self. What was a home has now just become a house.
The day I wrote this last poem I had just left the house to get something to eat in town. I didn’t have a notebook. But I did have a large envelope and a pen. I could not let go of the fact that our childhood home has now just become a house. That thought just gnawed at my heartstrings. I could not let it out any other way other than through poetry.
On that manila envelope this is what I wrote:
Home or House
When does a house
Become a home?
When tenants move in
And memories begin
When fights break out
And children run about
When celebrations are had
Driving those involved insanely mad
When friends come over
Because there’s a sleepover
And family from afar
Drive up in their cars
That’s when a house
Becomes a home
When does a home
Become just a house?
When those tenants move or die
And those lasting memories say good-bye
When those children have grown and gone
Time and distance have broken that bond
When the party ceases
And age increases
When friends stop coming over
Because they too are getting older
That’s when a home becomes just a house.
Thank God I had that folder because I was just in tears as I was writing this one. I could not even see what I was writing and I used up all the napkins the restaurant clerk gave me.
So if you do not see any updates on my blog it is because we are preparing to bury my Mom and Dad. We have not had a service for Mom yet due to scheduling conflicts. But we will have one in October. I will try to post more poems, short stories, and events about future readings.