We giggle conspiratorially and he slips his carry on briefcase between us on the seat. Catching on I slide my purse onto the seat as well. He winks at me and we successfully prevent any other passengers from intruding on our space. We spend a beautiful plane trip with room to spread out and a little peace and quiet for us both.
How do you help someone come to the realization that you did…if I am going to die doing something, anything – better it be in search of my sister’s warm touch, a chance to meet my niece and nephew and reconnect with my brother-in-law and other nephews? How do you explain that I have to see for myself that my mother isn’t there? She isn’t cooking. She isn’t crocheting. She isn’t there. She is really gone.
Left alone with another airline attendant, I dry my eyes and realize - one day I may be well and then walk unnoticed or bothered through this airport. I understand now, after spending time with my family that they may never find a place where they aren't judged by the color of their skin.
And for those who continue to think I am crazy to risk my health. I leave California knowing that I would suffer a ride in a wheel chair, a face mask; meticulous cleaning of my surroundings and more to see and know for sure my mother is gone. To paint Sissy's nails and play cars with Adrian, to talk to Robbie about television and dance and tease Kevin about doing dishes, to give Jon an opportunity to try abalone and to go shopping for shoes with my sister. When I die, what would I ask? Did I or did I not spend time with those that are important to me, those that I love?
So let them look in ATL and LAS and SAN and PHN. Let them whisper and I will dig deep and smile and try to give back what I as given by my mother - unconditional love and acceptance superseding prejudice and preconcieved ideals. I am my Mother's daughter.