This post is not so much about life and travel to, in, and around Oaxaca and Mexico, as it is an update about where I’ve been over the last few weeks and where I am now — both in the physical and existential sense. It isn’t easy to write about this since it means going beyond the usual and revealing more about what I’m feeling. An emotional essay is not my standard, and presents a dilemma about how much I should talk about online that personal. While Oaxaca Cultural Navigator is my personal perspective, it focuses on travel, culture, art, and history, etc. Lately, I haven’t been writing as regularly because my attention is elsewhere and I feel like I want to explain this.
My 96-1/2-year-old mother is nearing the end of her life. Yet, we don’t know when her life will end. She has had a long life. Her life has been long enough to realize her dreams, though she has fulfilled only a few of them. Often, the yearnings of women of her generation were suppressed in order to support home and family. She has been my role model for how to live otherwise with more independence and intention.
In the past four weeks I have been to Northern California twice, making round trips from Mexico City each time to have time with her and to give my caretaker sister some time for herself. But, it’s never enough time when you know that time is finite and the person who you love and who gave you life is strugglng to sustain her own. I am sad, and feel that however much time I’ve had with her still won’t fill the gap — for her and for me. In the last few days my mom has told her children and grandchildren how much she loves us and how proud she is of us. The messages are by email with copies to us all. (This is a perfect goodbye from my mom who has used the Internet for over 10 years.) I know she is getting ready, and in this way she is preparing us. I think I’m prepared, but ….
Last week, I flew from San Francisco to Boston, arriving in the middle of the night, staying with friends, and then driving to Portland, Maine, to meet up with my husband. We hadn’t seen each other in two months because of all this back and forth. Now, I am with him in a little cabin at the edge of a beautiful Maine lake where there is no WiFi connection. A blessing for us. We are here on vacation for another 10 days.
This morning, at the end of our yoga class, our instructor asked us to continue cool down by going into the fetal position. As I curled up and the tears came, I felt for a moment the sensation of birth and death. Beginning and ending of life. Thinking of my mother and her journey, and exit. This is what preoccupies me now.
This means not as many blog posts. And, because I’m not in Oaxaca right now, I am unable to give you daily updates of life there as I know it. An information gap for me and for you. And, because of my frame of mind, I’m not able to write as often right now.
Hopefully, more will come soon. I wanted you to know, and appreciate your patience and understanding.