The Art of Caring
Patrick Clary, MD
for my mother
I. Decision Road
Seven years from first diagnosis to goodbye,
to St. Mary, the mountain filling her picture window, edge to edge,
goodbye to the Bitterroot, close enough to hear the whoops of fisherman in spring,
or rumble of rip-rap shaken loose by snowmelt. Goodbye to the North Valley Library
she pulled out of her hat, goodbye to her children, our children, their children.
Goodbye to the Bible study group that wrote four history books with her,
proving finally Stevensville, not Virginia City, the oldest town in the State.
She said it would take drywall screws to keep her from crawling out of her coffin
to get more chemotherapy, then changed her mind: goodbye, chemo.