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That morbid children’s song about the old lady who swallowed a fly keeps going around in my head.

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly
Perhaps she’ll die.

The song keeps going and going, verse by verse, but ultimately it all comes back the old lady and her damn fly.

But in my version, the lady in Mama, and “perhaps” is no longer applicable. Oh, and there’s no fly – only breast cancer. Everything, every single thing comes back to Mama. The ripples keep going and going in ever-widening circles. Our antidepressant/antianxiety pill-popping, therapy-frequenting routines. The feeling of sick familiarity when we drive past a Hospice truck. Sue dropping out of school. Which led to her needing a new health insurance policy. Which led to her getting rejected TWICE, which ultimately led to her crying herself to sleep at 8pm on a Friday night. Tears in Ingles last Friday, on the cleaning supplies aisle, when “Time in a Bottle” started playing, and I felt the loss stab in the gut yet again. Maggie’s birth – I really believe that Maggie Denise was born to give the rest of us a reason to keep living. Me quitting my job. Daddy talking to his daughters for the first time in 20, 25, and 30 years respectively. Our houses – I know that Mama had a hand in finding my and Jennifer’s 1920’s bungalows.

If I could save Time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
’til Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

“Time in a Bottle” – the lyrics are haunting, beautiful, and appropriate. I don’t have a clear memory of Mama singing that song, but I feel that she must have…. there’s a connection to her.
I don’t know how many times, even before she left, that I wished I could somehow save it. I remember lying on her bed with my head on her shoulder, and just breathing in, and wishing that I could bottle her smell and that time with her.

Our home videos though… Those are time in a bottle. Moments in a bottle. Better times, happier times.

I’m going to start watching them. Maybe tomorrow.

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