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Jonathan Johnson  imagines what the dead mean to the living on the anniversary of his mother's death @ Ascent.

One

“The other day, when you told me it was coming up on five years, for a minute I thought that couldn’t be right,” Amy said as she packed our toiletries, passports and her camera into her day pack.

Gray light of morning was coming up over the North Sea out the window beyond my desk at the foot of our bed. I slid a fresh yellow legal pad and a couple extra pens into one of the two small suitcases we’d packed last night.

It’s February 7. The date on the end of my mother’s life. The date that waited on the calendar, all those years, like a pebble on a forest path, waiting for her foot, without intention, without malice, but waiting just the same. Just one sharp little pyramid of a pebble, not even an inch high, which stuck to the sole of her sneaker. And which, because she’d lost most of the feeling in her feet to diabetes, burrowed its way in with every step she took, until it was deep into the flesh of her foot, ending her walking days forever. And beginning the years of amputations and infections which ended only with the last of her days. February 7.

Today. On the fifth anniversary of my mother’s death, we were going to Paris. 

Image: Nathalie Daoust @ Fringe

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