She is alone in the suit. She sits in an armchair, wearing a robe and slippers and appears to be asleep. Her lean face, silver hair uncombed, pale hands folded in her lap. Celia sits on a cushioned bench watching and waiting. Soon her thoughts fall away from the still figure in the chair.Celia loves her mother who sits before her, leaning into the light shade by a table lamp nearby. Her mother is like a friend and they talk and discuss everything. It is hard to see her mother in this situation. She wishes her dad to take care of her mother. Her father defines terms, draws diagrams, rushing to airport or preparing for conferences. At home he stands before a full-length mirror reciting from memory speeches he works on, refining his gestures and facial expressions. He never has time for his wife.Her mother is a lover of daylight and dense of life. She gathers and tends children, teaches a course in an adult education program, belongs to a group of volunteers who read to the blind. Her mother opens her eyes. She is not surprise to see Celia. She knows that Celia will be the first one to appear on her side.She takes Celia’s hands and holds it.
“ It is so nice to have you here. How was your flight?” Her voice is a near whisper. She has trouble dealing with the congested syllables in few words. Celia is very close to her mother and she wants to make sure that her mother will be taken good care of. She moves her chair closer to her mother.
“ If you don’t mind then I would like to ask you something. Do you think about the kind of world you’ll be returning to?”
“ I don’t think about anything. There is the final point. It is a moment never to be thought of except when it is in the process of unfolding.” She replies taking a sip of water from the glass.
“ Think of the age of the earth, oceans appearing and disappearing, think of the age of galaxy. All those billion years. And you, me and all others. We live and die in a flash.” She continues to speak. She is all face and hands, body gathered up within the folds of the robe.
“ What will happen? Do you have any idea?” Celia asks tucking her mother’s hair behind her ear. Her mother knows the rigors of science and sometimes she is philosophical just like her father.
“ My grand father used to say that,lines of brilliant light, every material thing in its fullness, a pure object. They are everywhere, of course in libraries, in museums, in mud, places of worships.” She closes her eyes for a moment and then looks back at Celia.
“ The person is a mask, the created character in the medley of dramas that constitute your life. The mask drops and the person becomes you in its truest meaning. It is the conscious mind that stays. The reality is that everything has a beginning and an end to it, so don’t worry about that.”
Celia leans her head on her mother’s shoulder. It is hard to understand her mother’s philosophical meaning on life. She wants her mother to be happy and to enjoy the last few days of her life..
“ I understand mom, just testing your knowledge.” Says jokingly.