a blog with cultural bulimia.

Friday, May 21, 2004


"You see, memories have power. They come in dreams. When you’re riding a subway. And when you’re sitting around gazing out your office window. You see something; smell something that reminds you of a moment with someone, special. A sly smile of happiness bends your lips. And that “thought”, that good memory, is food for souls. We honor our dead by remembering them. So it’s important, how you remember."

My mother had always been the life of the party.

When in NY for my graduation she had to go into the hospital never to go back to Brasil. She was an alcoholic. Her liver ruined, she had lost the ability to clog and could bleed to death if untreated. She was also terrified of doctors and hospitals. After I was born she was pregnant another five times, only to miscarry or loose the babies, who were born weak, soon afterwards, due to Rh factor incompatibility. She was traumatized.

So, while visiting me, she had a minor hemorrhage that she hid because, on top of her fear, she spoke not a single word of english. By the time I found out she had already lost so much blood that her heart almost stopped.

Eventually she had to be hooked up to a respirator where I watched her lay lifeless for days, twenty-four hours of each of those days, until I had no choice but authorize turning it off.

There is a smell I want to forget that reminds me of those days...

It's one of the memories of my mother I wish I did not have.