Mom used to listen for us up and about when we were visiting her house. I would’ve found it annoying but from her bedroom she could hear our various noises around the house – a toilet flushing, the shower running, the tv on, the kids running through the dining room to the sitting room and then back again.
I imagine her like a proud matriarch, who was surrounded by her loved ones, and just basking in the family spirit that embodied the house when we were visiting. I can hear her smiling. I can see her heart beaming. I can feel her love.
Our noise was not something that bothered her, not until the Cancer manifested itself. I remember her reached-the-end-of-her-rope-and-energy phone call one early morning. I was only in the next room but she had called to ask me if we, my family and I, could keep our noise down, as she was trying to sleep. I was hurt but I understood.
These two extremes can’t make sense of each other in my mind. Perhaps her love for us and our noise never vanished but the extreme fatigue and pain overwhelmed her matriarchal basking stance. I know her love never waned. I know it. I know it.