on the death of my mother

the guest bedroom

 

I dreamt I was pregnant. I woke up happy.

 

A major force in this project is my mother and the possibility of her death. When my grandmother was in her final stages of lung cancer, my mother travelled from Lima, Peru, where we were living, to be with her in Cali. She arrived around thirty minutes late to the hospital due to traffic from the airport, missing my grandmother’s last breath. Interviewing my uncle, who had sat at my grandmother’s side, I realised the pain of distance. I remember seeing it in my mother’s eyes when she came back from Colombia, and I see it in her eyes every time she speaks about my grandmother. My uncle told me that my grandmother was asking for my mother and that it was only when she landed and my uncle said she was on her way that Nubia finally died.

As I bridge the gap that separates me from my grandmother, I think about my mother’s death and my potential absence from her bedside when her time comes. I think about my future children and their possible absence from my bedside when I die. My performance is a way of strengthening my lineage but also a way of identifying my relationship to my mother and coming to terms with the reality of being apart, of being different, of living absent from each other’s lives, and eventually of each other’s deaths.