• Leave It Up

After the death of my father I became the patriarch in the small family. I took the train home almost every weekend. I tried to help and support my mother and grandmother as good as I could. Around the house was enough to do, too. The hard-working hands of my father and his income were missed a lot. My mother did the housework, my grandmother tried to manage the huge garden with the many different fruit trees, grapes and vegetables. I cared about the rose garden in the front yard and aside of the house, and payed the bills. Although my mother was already retired, she still was giving private lessons. She never could quit teaching. She was a teacher with heart and soul during her whole life. She loved children, and spent all her time with them. She just never had the time for me. I hardly got her attention, no matter in which way I tried to prove I was worth for it, I could not wake up her affection. Only in her last years she started to see me, actually not until my father had left us. The years before she had been too busy to defend her marriage day by day against my grandmother, who lived in the same house and had hated my father (as she hated men in general). They were married for fourty-four years. /To third./ One day I noticed how much my mother had shrunked. Within short time she had lost a lot of weight. She needed to go to hospital. Nobody believed anymore she would ever get out from there. She was that weak that she hardly could go, she weighed only eighty-five pounds. I couldn’t watch that any longer, after six weeks I lifted her and brought her in my arms (like bringing a child) to the (rented) car, and I took her home with me on my own responsibility. She left the bed hardly anymore. If I was not at home, my grandmother cared about her, she got her child back. She was needed as mother, that kept her alive, even if she already was eighty-nine years old. I went home as often as I could, my mother was eating only the food I brought her from Vienna. It made me so sad if I was just thinking of her. I couldn’t tell when it did happen, but one day we unperceivedly changed  the roles, I got the mother of my mother and she became my clingy child. I bathed her and cared about her. Her state got stabilised, though, she needed dialysis two times the week. It went comparatively well with her over a year, till to Christmas 1993. On Holy Night I had to call the doctor she had such pains, that she already needed morphine. On the next day nothing helped anymore, she had to go to the hospital again. I went  to visit her there every day. On January 20th for the last time. She didn’t wake up anymore, but I talked to her and was holding her hand. I can remember not of one of those words I was telling her, but I knew, she did still hear me. I imagined to see a little smile on the corner of her mouth. She still was alive when I had to leave her, when I wanted to reach the last train back home. I cried thousands of visible and invisible tears during I was listening to this song back and forth on the train. She was passed away two hours later. I inherited the house, a canary and my grandmother. Sometimes I had the feeling she would survive even me. During her last ten months she lived with me in Vienna. She had Alzheimer's disease. Sometimes she did not even know, who I was. She always was searching for a child. I remember very well, her last words were to me „Take me home with you!“ I asked bitterly „Where is home?“ As she passed away in a hospital in Hungary, I was working in my studio on a painting called „Owls in the night“. I did not have any tears to cry anymore, neither when I received the message of her death nor on her funeral.

CROSBY, STILLS & NASH • LEAVE IT UP

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