Mused, BellaOnline Literary Review / Revisión Literaria

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

I’M PLEASED TO HAVE A work of non-fiction published in the current issue of the literary review “Mused.”

ME ENCANTA TENER UNA OBRA de no ficción publicada en el número actual de la revista literaria “Mused”.

RAINING IN SHEFFIELD

Dale died.

The skies over Sheffield mourned her slow passing for days before and days after. Winds so strong the moment she died that outside the hospice ancient trees were torn from the earth. Gnarled fingers of mud-covered roots left naked, exposed, pointing uselessly to the heavens.

Months earlier, as we drove from Darlington to Sheffield, transporting Dale to the hospital for one of her blood trans­fusions, she commented, “It always rains when we come to Sheffield.”

And when we leave it, as well, I learned.

It was not raining when we awoke the day we buried Dale. The sky was heavy with clouds and an overpowering stillness that pounded in our heads as we slept-walked to the car to begin our drive.

It did not rain during the forty-five minutes we drove in silence to the rabbi’s house where we met the limo that would take us the final two miles to the aging stone chapel on the cemetery grounds.

There was a fine mist appearing on the windows when David began silently to cry for the wife he would never again see and for the mother his seven-year-old daughter would hardly remember. The other undead — my parents, my brother, and I — were dry-eyed and silent as we traveled with him in the small black limo — a simple sedan by our American standards — following closely behind the miserable hearse. My sister, forever twenty-nine, making her final journey through Sheffield with an entourage. I wished I could lift the lid and crawl in beside her.

The mist was heavier when we stood outside the chapel and watched four short, bent-with-age strangers, wearing threadbare, worn-to-a-shine suits, lift Dale’s black-draped, plain pine box from the back of the hearse.

And it became a light rain when one of the strangers mis-stepped, losing hold of his end of the box and catching it barely an inch before it hit the cobblestone pavement. The black cloth slipped from the coffin, exposing the box’s hideous and heartbreakingly cheap simplicity.

Dave gasped, shocked by the crudeness of the carpentry. But, I tried not to laugh, even though I knew Dale would have let loose a laugh loud and hearty, when the men desperately grabbed at the cloth and restored it to its original position, briefly snagging and stretching the polyester fabric on a sliver of wood that had been partially ripped from the edge of the box and stuck out like a claw.

We followed the box into the chapel where my father, brother, and I were placed at the front, standing on either side of the coffin — Chucky and I on one side facing our father on the other. The closed and covered coffin was not positioned in the familiar way with it’s length running parallel to the front of the chapel, but instead was placed perpendicular, so Dale’s head was to the main pews and her feet to the front wall.

We three were given prayer books opened to the page where the service would begin. My mother and brother-in-law were shown where to sit, women and gentiles apparently having no legitimate place in this congregation’s solemn observance.

I looked up to see that we were standing in a tall alcove of an ancient stone chapel. I had to strain my neck and eyes to catch a glimpse of the distant wood-beamed ceiling. On the narrow wall of the dark, damp alcove, just below the ceiling, was a small, round stained glass window. Just large enough for a sister-sized apparition to slip through as it soared heavenward.

I told myself, as I had at the hospice two days earlier, that I would be a man. I would not shed a tear. I would stay in control. I would show that I was strong.

My mind flashed back to a half-hour after Dale’s powerful heart had finally stopped its mechanical pumping. When one of the hospice nurses realized that Dale’s jewelry, her rings and bracelets, needed to be removed. And no staff could legally do it. By this time, we were all in a small, private lounge drinking our brandy and listening to my father and brother-in-law sob while the hospice staff “prepared” my sister.

“I’ll do it,” I said.

Shocked, my mother gasped, half-questioned, “You can’t.”

“It’s OK. I can,” I calmly, maturely — paternally — whispered.

I followed the nurse back to what had been Dale’s home for the past two weeks, my shoulders squared, back rigid, head held high as I strode down the long hall, past the rooms containing the others waiting to die. Smiling as I strode so they would not know that death was now one room closer.

A momentary, silent gasp from deep within me when I saw Dale, stiffly wrapped in a clean white sheet, the whites of her eyes partially visible, her lips slightly parted but no longer emitting their little bursts of air minute after minute, hour after hour, mechanically, maddeningly, for days and nights on end. Her skin a shade of yellow-white I had never before seen. In just minutes, her chestnut-haired, almond-eyed, olive-skinned beauty had fled.

I may have breathed deeply. Perhaps I didn’t breathe at all as I approached the bed, lifted my big sister’s lifeless hand — the first lifeless hand I had ever touched — and cautiously fought the rings off the stiffening, uncooperative fingers. My hands shook and, therefore, so did hers.

When I was done, I stuffed the rings and delicate gold bracelets into my pocket, leaned forward and gave her one last, tentative kiss on the cheek. At that moment, I wanted to curl up beside her and sob. I wanted to go with her wherever it was she had gone. But, I remembered to “be a man,” sucked the tears back into my eyes, stood up straight, smiled tenderly and thanked the nurse, and left the room.

As these recent memories raged through my head in the chapel, my eyes again began to moisten with tears. I searched in my mind for a way to survive this day’s ordeal without losing that all-important, masculine control. I looked again at the stained glass window and heard Dale’s voice — a little boy’s big sister’s voice — singing:

“John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt.
That is my name, too.
Whenever we go out,
The people always shout
There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt.
Da da da da da da da.”

And then, just like she did when we were children whispering (although only in my mind):

“John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt.
That is my name, too.
Whenever we go out,
The people always shout
There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt.”

And then shouting:

DA DA DA DA DA DA DA!

Over and over and over again.

And I smiled, but not too broadly, and I sang along with her — silently — while remaining passively aware of our place in the service, since Chucky could not read Hebrew (or for that matter English) and had to carefully watch me for his cue to turn the page in his prayer book.

And watch me he did, my little brother the mimic — between the meaningless dips and bows he had carefully learned to imitate during his years at the Orthodox academy for “retarded” children. At the age of twenty-one, he might not know how to read or sing or pray, but he could certainly look like he did. The elders of the chapel smiled at his devout choreography. They smiled at these two good Jewish brothers, these mensch, as they periodically circled us monitoring our progress through the service. And each time one of these men reached my father’s side, they would turn the pages of the prayer book held numbly, dumbly, in his once sure and strong hand.

The service came to its end. Dale and I together completed our final chorus of John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt.

Da da da da da da da.

And then we began our death march behind the strangers who carried our sister/daughter/wife/mother out of the damp and musty chapel and into the dank and muddy cemetery, and the pouring rain.

My mother reached up high with her left hand — from her height of 5´2″ to Dave’s of 6´1″ — to protect both their heads with the tiny, folding, travel umbrella, a little umbrella brought all the way from Brooklyn, just in case. She was always prepared. Perhaps not emotionally prepared, but always physically. With her right arm, she tried to support Dave’s mass, which over the three-and-a-half years of Dale´s illness had increased in size as dramatically as hers — feeding her cancer — had diminished. Dave stumbled up the muddy path until my mother caught my eye with a desperate look that said, “Help him.”

I was indifferent to the rain that soaked my hair and face and clothes. I took two steps forward and gave Dave gentle, yet firm, support on his right as my mother released his left arm, and we continued our walk, umbrella-less, together through this tiny cemetery that had somehow, suddenly, become miles and miles long.

When we finally reached our destination, a vacant hilltop containing a freshly dug hole and beside it a pile of dirt under a plastic tarp, we stopped and silently, except for the sound of Dave’s sobs, watched the plain pine box — “My sister is in there,” I thought — as it was lowered into the saturated earth. 

I forced my eyes up to the sky to keep the tears from coming at the thought of my beautiful sister being left in this flimsy excuse for a permanent resting place. With little protection from the wet and the filth and the cold. ‘And the worms crawl in and the worms crawl out, crawl into your stomach’ … and I forced myself to put another song from our childhoods out of my head.

And — inside my head — I screamed. And sobbed. And fell to my knees. And called out her name. And insisted that this all was a huge, horrible mistake. That this couldn´t really be happening. While outwardly, I remained composed and erect, and swallowed my tears.

And — inside my head — I screamed. And sobbed. And fell to my knees. And called out her name. And insisted that this all was a huge, horrible mistake. That this couldn´t really be happening. While outwardly, I remained composed and erect, and swallowed my tears.

And then someone handed me a shovel. And somehow, although I cannot remember hearing a voice, I knew I was meant to shovel some dirt into the hole and onto the box containing my sister. I had never done this before. Didn’t know this custom. A sob caught in my throat. A sob I forced back to lodge somewhere deep inside me to reside for years with all the other sobs. I shoveled some heavy, wet dirt onto Dale. I then passed the shovel to Chucky, who was also dry-eyed and “being a man,” and helped him do the same. Dave stepped forward and continued to sob loudly as he performed this rite. My father — this hollowed-out man who was always so powerful — cried like a little boy as he took his turn. And then the strangers followed.

Some more prayers were recited leading to the final “amen.”

We turned to leave. At some point between the time that I picked up the shovel and before we walked back to the limo, the rain had stopped. I didn’t notice when. My clothing must have been soaked, but I didn´t notice that either. All I noticed was that I was angry.

Angry with these men who ignored my sister’s adoring and adored husband and treated him like nothing.

Angry with my mother for not knowing how to be closer to Dale before her illness. For seeing herself as the victim, as I believed she always did, of another of life’s tragedies. For making all the funeral decisions without any input from us — from me — even though I knew she had done so because no one else could.

Angry with my father for never letting Dale know he loved her more than he loved almost anything else in this world — including me.

Angry with Dale for leaving me alone with our family and its demons — my demons.

With myself for not being as good a brother as Dale was a sister. For not being as good a human being.

And angry with God, although I doubted his existence, because — if he did exist — how could he have allowed our lives, these disappointing lives, to be.

Dale died.

And I did not.

.

LLOVIENDO EN SHEFFIELD

Dale murió.

Los cielos sobre Sheffield lloraron su lento paso durante los días anteriores y posteriores. Vientos tan fuertes en el momento de su muerte que fuera del hospicio se arrancaron árboles centenarios de la tierra. Dedos nudosos de raíces cubiertas de barro que quedaron desnudos, expuestos, apuntando inútilmente al cielo.

Meses antes, mientras conducíamos de Darlington a Sheffield, transportando a Dale al hospital para una de sus transfusiones de sangre, ella comentó: “Siempre llueve cuando venimos a Sheffield”.

Y cuando lo dejamos, también, lo aprendí.

No llovía cuando nos despertamos el día que enterramos a Dale. El cielo estaba cargado de nubes y una quietud abrumadora que martilleaba en nuestras cabezas mientras dormíamos-caminábamos hacia el coche para comenzar nuestro viaje.

No llovió durante los cuarenta y cinco minutos que condujimos en silencio hasta la casa del rabino, donde nos encontramos con la limusina que nos llevaría las últimas dos millas hasta la capilla de piedra envejecida en los terrenos del cementerio.

Una fina niebla aparecía en las ventanas cuando David comenzó a llorar en silencio por la esposa a la que nunca volvería a ver y por la madre que su hija de siete años apenas recordaría. Los otros no muertos, mis padres, mi hermano, y yo, teníamos los ojos secos y silenciosos mientras viajábamos con él en la pequeña limusina negra, un simple sedán para nuestros estándares estadounidenses, siguiendo de cerca el miserable coche fúnebre. Mi hermana, siempre veintinueve, haciendo su último viaje a través de Sheffield con un séquito. Deseé poder levantar la tapa y meterme a su lado.

La niebla era más densa cuando nos detuvimos fuera de la capilla y observamos a cuatro desconocidos bajos, encorvados por la edad, vestidos con trajes raídos y gastados a brillar, levantar la caja de pino liso y drapeada en negro de Dale de la parte trasera del coche fúnebre.

Y se convirtió en una lluvia ligera cuando uno de los extraños dio un paso mal, perdió el agarre de su extremo de la caja y la atrapó apenas una pulgada antes de que golpeara el pavimento de adoquines. La tela negra se deslizó del ataúd, exponiendo la espantosa y desgarradoramente barata simplicidad de la caja.

Dave jadeó, sorprendido por la crudeza de la carpintería. Pero traté de no reírme, aunque sabía que Dale habría soltado una carcajada fuerte y cordial, cuando los hombres agarraron desesperadamente la tela y la devolvieron a su posición original, enganchando y estirando brevemente la tela de poliéster en una astilla de madera que se había arrancado parcialmente del borde de la caja y sobresalía como una garra.

Seguimos la caja hasta la capilla donde mi padre, mi hermano, y yo fuimos colocados al frente, de pie a cada lado del ataúd, Chucky y yo de un lado frente a nuestro padre del otro. El ataúd cerrado y cubierto no se colocó de la manera familiar con su longitud paralela al frente de la capilla, sino que se colocó perpendicular, por lo que la cabeza de Dale estaba hacia los bancos principales y sus pies hacia la pared frontal.

A los tres nos dieron libros de oraciones abiertos en la página donde comenzaría el servicio. A mi madre y a mi cuñado se les mostró dónde sentarse, ya que las mujeres y los gentiles aparentemente no tenían un lugar legítimo en la solemne observancia de esta congregación.

Miré hacia arriba para ver que estábamos parados en un alto nicho de una antigua capilla de piedra. Tuve que esforzarme el cuello y los ojos para vislumbrar el distante techo con vigas de madera. En la pared estrecha de la alcoba oscura y húmeda, justo debajo del techo, había una pequeña vidriera redonda. Lo suficientemente grande como para que una aparición del tamaño de una hermana se deslizara mientras se elevaba hacia el cielo.

Me dije, como había hecho en el hospicio dos días antes, que sería un hombre. No derramaría una lágrima. Yo mantendría el control. Demostraría que soy fuerte.

Mi mente retrocedió media hora después de que el poderoso corazón de Dale finalmente detuviera su bombeo mecánico. Cuando una de las enfermeras del hospicio se dio cuenta de que era necesario quitar las joyas, los anillos y las pulseras de Dale. Y ningún personal podría hacerlo legalmente. Para entonces, estábamos todos en un pequeño salón privado bebiendo nuestro brandy y escuchando a mi padre y a mi cuñado sollozar mientras el personal del hospicio “preparaba” a mi hermana. 

“Lo haré”, dije.

Conmocionada, mi madre jadeó, medio cuestionada: “No puedes”.

“Está bien. Puedo — susurré con calma, madurez, paternalmente.

Seguí a la enfermera de regreso a lo que había sido la casa de Dale durante las últimas dos semanas, mis hombros cuadrados, la espalda rígida, la cabeza en alto mientras caminaba por el largo pasillo, pasando las habitaciones donde estaban los demás esperando morir. Sonriendo mientras caminaba para que no supieran que la muerte estaba ahora un cuarto más cerca.

Un jadeo momentáneo y silencioso desde lo más profundo de mí cuando vi a Dale, rígidamente envuelta en una sábana blanca y limpia, el blanco de sus ojos parcialmente visible, sus labios ligeramente separados pero que ya no emitían sus pequeñas ráfagas de aire minuto tras minuto, hora tras hora, mecánicamente, enloquecedoramente, durante días y noches. Su piel de un tono blanco amarillento que nunca había visto. En solo minutos, su belleza de cabello castaño, ojos almendrados, y piel aceitunada había huido.

Puede que haya respirado profundamente. Quizás no respiré en absoluto cuando me acerqué a la cama, levanté la mano sin vida de mi hermana mayor, la primera mano sin vida que había tocado, y luché cautelosamente contra los anillos de los dedos rígidos y poco cooperativos. Me temblaban las manos y, por tanto, las de ella también.

Cuando terminé, guardé los anillos y los delicados brazaletes de oro en mi bolsillo, me incliné hacia adelante y le di un último beso tentativo en la mejilla. En ese momento, quise acurrucarme a su lado y sollozar. Quería ir con ella dondequiera que fuera. Pero recordé “ser un hombre”, me chupé las lágrimas de nuevo en los ojos, me puse de pie, sonreí con ternura, le di las gracias a la enfermera y salí de la habitación.

Mientras estos recuerdos recientes atravesaban mi cabeza en la capilla, mis ojos nuevamente comenzaron a humedecerse con lágrimas. Busqué en mi mente una manera de sobrevivir a la terrible experiencia de este día sin perder ese control masculino tan importante. Volví a mirar la vidriera y escuché la voz de Dale, la voz de una hermana mayor de niño pequeño, cantando:

“John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt.
That is my name, too.
Whenever we go out,
The people always shout
There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt.
Da da da da da da da.”

Y luego, como lo hizo cuando éramos niños susurrando (aunque solo en mi mente):

“John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt.
That is my name, too.
Whenever we go out,
The people always shout
There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt.”

Y luego gritando:

“Da da da da da da da.”

Una y otra y otra vez.

Y sonreí, pero no demasiado ampliamente, y canté junto con ella, en silencio, mientras permanecía pasivamente consciente de nuestro lugar en el servicio, ya que Chucky no sabía leer hebreo (o para el caso inglés) y tenía que vigilarme cuidadosamente por su señal para pasar la página en su libro de oraciones.

Y mírame lo que hizo, mi hermano pequeño el imitador, entre los saltos y reverencias sin sentido que había aprendido a imitar cuidadosamente durante sus años en la academia ortodoxa para niños “retrasados”. A la edad de veintiún años, tal vez no supiera leer, cantar u orar, pero ciertamente podría verse como lo hizo. Los ancianos de la capilla sonrieron ante su devota coreografía. Sonreían a estos dos buenos hermanos judíos, estos “mensch”, mientras nos rodeaban periódicamente para monitorear nuestro progreso a través del servicio. Y cada vez que uno de estos hombres llegaba al lado de mi padre, pasaba las páginas del libro de oraciones que sostenía aturdido, mudo, en su mano que alguna vez fue segura y fuerte.

El servicio llegó a su fin. Dale y yo juntos completamos nuestro coro final de John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt.

Da da da da da da da.

Y luego comenzamos nuestra marcha de la muerte detrás de los extraños que sacaron a nuestra hermana / hija / esposa / madre de la capilla húmeda y mohosa y al cementerio húmedo y fangoso, y la lluvia torrencial.

Mi madre extendió su mano izquierda hacia arriba – desde su altura de 157 cm hasta la de Dave de 185 cm — para proteger sus cabezas con el pequeño paraguas de viaje plegable, un pequeño paraguas traído desde Brooklyn, por si acaso. Ella siempre estuvo preparada. Quizás no preparado emocionalmente, pero siempre físicamente. Con su brazo derecho, trató de sostener la masa de Dave, que durante los tres años y medio de la enfermedad de Dale había aumentado de tamaño tan dramáticamente como el de ella, alimentando su cáncer, había disminuido. Dave tropezó por el camino embarrado hasta que mi madre me llamó la atención con una mirada desesperada que decía: “Ayúdalo”.

Me era indiferente la lluvia que me empapaba el pelo, la cara, y la ropa. Di dos pasos hacia adelante y le di a Dave un apoyo suave, pero firme, a su derecha mientras mi madre soltaba su brazo izquierdo, y continuamos nuestra caminata, sin paraguas, juntos a través de este pequeño cementerio que de alguna manera, de repente, se había convertido en millas y millas largo.

Cuando finalmente llegamos a nuestro destino, una colina vacía que contenía un hoyo recién cavado y al lado un montón de tierra debajo de una lona de plástico, nos detuvimos y en silencio, excepto por el sonido de los sollozos de Dave, miramos la caja de pino simple: “Mi hermana es ahí dentro”, pensé — mientras se bajaba a la tierra saturada.

Me obligué a mirar al cielo para evitar que me salieran las lágrimas al pensar en que mi hermosa hermana se quedara en esta endeble excusa de un lugar de descanso permanente. Con poca protección contra la humedad, la suciedad, y el frío. “Y los gusanos entran y los gusanos salen, se meten en el estómago” … y me obligué a sacar otra canción de nuestra infancia.

Y, dentro de mi cabeza, grité. Y sollozó. Y caí de rodillas. Y gritó su nombre. E insistió en que todo esto fue un gran y horrible error. Que esto realmente no podría estar pasando. Aunque exteriormente, permanecí sereno y erguido, y me tragué las lágrimas.

Y luego alguien me entregó una pala. Y de alguna manera, aunque no recuerdo haber escuchado una voz, supe que estaba destinado a meter un poco de tierra en el agujero y en la caja que contenía a mi hermana. Nunca había hecho esto antes. No conocía esta costumbre. Un sollozo atrapado en mi garganta. Un sollozo que obligué a guardar en algún lugar profundo de mí para residir durante años con todos los demás sollozos. Paleé un poco de tierra húmeda y pesada sobre Dale. Luego le pasé la pala a Chucky, quien también tenía los ojos secos y “siendo un hombre”, y lo ayudé a hacer lo mismo. Dave dio un paso adelante y continuó sollozando en voz alta mientras realizaba este rito. Mi padre, este hombre vacío que siempre fue tan poderoso, lloró como un niño cuando tomó su turno. Y luego los extraños lo siguieron.

Se recitaron algunas oraciones más que condujeron al “amén” final.

Nos volvimos para irnos. En algún momento entre el momento en que recogí la pala y antes de que regresáramos a la limusina, la lluvia se detuvo. No me di cuenta de cuándo. Mi ropa debió estar empapada, pero tampoco me di cuenta. Todo lo que noté fue que estaba enojado.

Enojado con estos hombres que ignoraron al adorado y adorado esposo de mi hermana y lo trataron como si nada.

Enojado con mi madre por no saber cómo estar más cerca de Dale antes de su enfermedad. Por verse víctima, como creí que siempre lo hacía, de otra de las tragedias de la vida. Por tomar todas las decisiones del funeral sin ningún aporte de nosotros, de mí, a pesar de que sabía que ella lo había hecho porque nadie más podía hacerlo.

Enojado con mi padre por no hacerle saber a Dale que la amaba más de lo que amaba a casi cualquier otra cosa en este mundo, incluyéndome a mí.

Enojado con Dale por dejarme solo con nuestra familia y sus demonios, mis demonios.

Conmigo mismo por no ser tan buen hermano como Dale era una hermana. Por no ser un ser humano tan bueno.

Y enojado con Dios, aunque dudaba de su existencia, porque, si existiera, ¿cómo pudo haber permitido que nuestras vidas, estas vidas decepcionantes, fueran?

Dale murió.

Y no lo hice.

44 comments:

  1. anne marie in philly22 September, 2017 13:10(no words)
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:22anne marie:
      And they mean so much to me. Thanks.
  2. Seine Judeet (Judith)22 September, 2017 13:23What can I say? This has me sitting here in tears. I think of my own two sisters like this and I can’t even stand the thought for a moment. I don’t know how you did it, or how you have done it. 
    Congratulations on being published, of course. And hugs to you.
    Judy
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:24Judy:
      I didn’t mean to make you cry. Think of your own two sisters the way you always do, with love and joy. Everything was so different for me back then. I’m so much more grateful now and I still sing John-Jacob-Jingleheimer-Schmidt-da-da-da-da-da-da-da!
    2. Seine Judeet (Judith)23 September, 2017 19:35Well, now, how could we not cry, Mitchell? But, I’m smiling, now, knowing that you are in a good place, now. 
  3. Bob Slatten22 September, 2017 13:55Just beautiful.
    Thanks so much for sharing that. ♥♥♥
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:24Bob:
      Thanks so much for taking the time to read it. 
  4. Travel22 September, 2017 14:08Incredible, 
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:24Travel:
      Thanks.
  5. Laurent Beaulieu22 September, 2017 16:18Beautiful text, moving.
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:25Laurent:
      Thanks. I’m so grateful … for everything now.
  6. Wilma22 September, 2017 16:26My heart aches.
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:25Wilma:
      I hope it has filled back up with love. Mine has… and with gratitude.
  7. Kirk22 September, 2017 17:22Will read it on Sunday when I have more time on the computer (I’m about to go to work) but congratulations on getting published.
  8. Cheapchick22 September, 2017 18:41An amazingly beautiful tribute to your sister
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:26Cheapchick:
      She was amazingly beautiful.
  9. A Heron’s View22 September, 2017 19:15Mitchell your words are a worthy tribute to Dale and a lesson to everyone to never hold back on expressing endearments to our loved ones. Many thanks for sharing and much success with the book.
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:27Heron:
      Thank you so much. The book has been in the works forever. It’s a joy to share this most important part. I have learned over the years to not hold back.
  10. Debra She Who Seeks22 September, 2017 20:05Beautifully observed and written. It made me cry.
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:28Debra:
      Just yell da-da-da-da-da-da-da and you’ll smile.
  11. Stephen Hayes22 September, 2017 20:52This is so well written and so moving I can’t think of anything to say.
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:28Stephen:
      And that says so much. Thanks!
  12. Jim22 September, 2017 21:04Mitchell, thanks for sharing this. I can only hope for you that this is and has been a cathartic writing 
    experience for you and has helped you through this terrible loss.
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:30Jim:
      I first wrote this perhaps 25 years ago and have worked on it over the years. Given that Dale had already been dead about 12 years at first writing, it surprised me how vivid every image was in my mind… and to this day. Writing and finally treatment for clinical depression have changed my outlook.
  13. fromsophiesview22 September, 2017 21:35You always surprise me Mitch. I am in awe with your writing ability always have over these past few years. The clearness and preciseness of your words is riveting.
    I suspect many people, such as myself will find a wee bit of themselves in your words.
    Thanking you.
    Ron
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:30Ron:
      And I’m thanking you. Our friendship through our words has meant so much to me.
  14. John Gray22 September, 2017 23:21You surprise me too…I lived in Sheffield 20 years
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:32John:
      I remember recently connecting that with you. Dale died at St. Lukes and you have some friends who have worked there. I wish I could go back and individually thank the people who were there in 1981. I will be forever grateful to them.
  15. Kirk23 September, 2017 04:12Well, I found time to read it before Sunday, and now feel my first comment was, um, a bit insufficient, almost ridiculously so (though I DO congratulate you on getting published.) 

    Very moving, but also very insightful. You’ve aptly depicted some of the small ironies and incongruities that can arise from the death of a loved one, no matter how unwelcome such ironies and incongruities may be.
    ReplyDeleteReplies
    1. Mitchell is Moving23 September, 2017 11:33Kirk:
      I appreciated your first comment. It’s a long read! And I’m so grateful to you for your kind words … and your insight.
  16. Janice Wagar23 September, 2017 16:33Beautifully written, poignant tribute to your beloved sister. It must have taken great courage to lay your emotions so bare. You are an awesome writer!
    1. Mitchell is Moving24 September, 2017 12:15Janice:
      Thank you so much for continuing to come back and for your very kind words. I began writing this about 13 years after Dale died. I remember sitting and sobbing as I first wrote it. I’ve reworked it a hundred times and it’s now easier to get through (I sure would hope so… another 24 years on).
  17. Anonymous23 September, 2017 19:06As somebody who follows your blog but has never commented just want to say thank you for a beautiful, moving and thought provoking piece of writing. 

    Alex.
    1. Mitchell is Moving24 September, 2017 12:16Alex:
      Thanks so much for following my blog. Comments are not necessary and are simply appreciated when they appear. It’s especially meaningful that you shared yours now. 
  18. A. Marie24 September, 2017 03:15Mitchell: Long-time lurker here (I came here via Living Rich on the Cheap). Like everyone else, I’m blown away by this essay. But I think the details that moved me most were the ones about your helping to get Chuck through this. Then as now, you’ve been a wonderful big brother. Blessings to you both, as well as to San Geraldo.
    1. Mitchell is Moving24 September, 2017 12:18A. Marie:
      I love lurkers! There are so many things I would have done differently had I been more emotionally mature, but we survived it (Chuck and I together especially) and I’m grateful for that. And thanks for the blessings. We’ve had a lot of them over the years (that’s something I’ve definitely learned to appreciate).
  19. Jo24 September, 2017 04:22Mitchell, that is the most powerful work I have ever read. I am totally unable to fully express my feelings of love, sadness, and appreciation for the open, often painful, sharing of your love for your sister, your care for your brother, and the incredible burden you carried during the entire process. Each word bore the weight of your emotions, and provided such a clear, defined image of you being placed in a position of responsibility well beyond your years, and depriving you of the opportunity to fully mourn the loss because of that responsibility. I love you, Mitchell! 
    1. Mitchell is Moving24 September, 2017 12:19Jo:
      Thank you so much for this! Sending love back to you!
  20. Page28 September, 2017 19:51Beautiful and sad. You have expressed yourself so eloquently…one can feel your heartbreak.
    1. Mitchell is Moving29 September, 2017 10:20Page:
      Thank you. It’s still so vivid, but the sweet memories have mostly taken over.
  21. Frank05 October, 2017 15:01How very important to put into words such a deeply felt experience. An artfully painted picture. Your readers have expressed their reactions so much better than I could. Thanks for sharing that.
    I’m a bit late on this..I am only now catching up on your blog as I was away for a few weeks.
    1. Mitchell is Moving06 October, 2017 18:02Frank:
      Thank you so much. I’m actually proud of this and wish I were as proud of the rest of what I’ve written! At least it motivates me to get back to it.
  22. JO14 March, 2018 02:41Incredibly moving writing… I have only just visited your blog via Going Gently and have been working my way backwards through your posts all day… to here, I feel your loss… I am sorry.

    Jo in Auckland, NZ
    1. Mitchell is Moving14 March, 2018 13:58JO:
      Thanks so much, first for the visit and next for the very kind words. I hope you’ll come back often.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

4 thoughts on “Mused, BellaOnline Literary Review / Revisión Literaria”

  1. Words fail me Mitch. I have been so touched by your reminiscences of your sister over the years on this blog. But this story all of a piece ripped my heart out. I felt the rain, the pathos and the horror. It takes a very brave, honest person to share so much of his heart. You are a good man.

    1. Susan:
      Thanks yet again. I sure did love her. I finally returned to Sheffield nearly 15 years later. Had Jerry to hold onto and I did everything I held inside the first time. Awful and so long overdue. Also, I’ve reconnected my old blog http://www.mitchellismoving.blogspot.com. I’m unable to transfer the comments that didn’t come across but you can always read them there… although it’s not very convenient! Sorry about that. Meanwhile I cut and pasted the comments from this particular post to the end of the post on WordPress.

  2. You captured a vast grief in your remembrance. But above all, you captured endless love. xo

    1. Mary:
      Thanks so much. I actually wrote the story a long time ago — first draft not long after the event. And thanks for seeing the endless love. We had an exceptional relationship I think for siblings.

I love your comments.