I dreamt that I needed a ride. My mother came to get me in a car. When I got in her car my mother was at the wheel but she had passed away. The car did not move. I knew it was a dream and I knew I should get out of the car or wake up. I stayed. I stayed because I could see her face. Her face looked peaceful but it did look like her face on the day she died. I miss her so much.
Today would have been my parent’s 53rd wedding anniversary. I have never been very good with dates. I actually did not remember that today was the day until I was lying awake at 1 am this morning. So I was not collected enough to plan something. I did not know what to do, not knowing how Dad was doing. I did not want to dwell on the day if he wasn’t.
So I called when I got off work. “What are you doing?” Dad did not respond with much. Have you eaten? No. How about you let me take you to dinner? After some thinking and consideration, he agreed to meet me at a restaurant near their old home.
I remember going to this restaurant when my brother and I were kids. In fact, when we got too old to order of the children’s menu we stopped going (for a while) because my mom did not think we ate enough to justify the cost. When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we went there so many times with either his mother or my parents. It got to the point that when the waitress greeted us, it wasn’t “How are you?” or “Would you like a drink?” No, it was a simple question. “Who’s momma?”
Dad and I ordered rum drinks, we ate and ate. It was just like we had done so many times before. Just one thing was missing.
I can’t tell you the last time I was in this place. And it looks pretty much the same as it did 20 years ago. Very little had changed. The food was still good – the same. The decor was the same. Heck, I even think some of the patrons were the same.
The only difference was there was darkness on the chair that mom would have sat on.
Mom spent many years working at a local elementary school. She was loved and respected so much that they planted a tree for her on the school grounds. Today we gathered at the tree for a brief dedication. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day as friends gathered.
Happy memories were shared by people she had worked with for so many years. A piper played Scotland Forever and Amazing Grace as we reflected on what has been lost. A bit of closure. I miss her so much.
One Year ago today, I found out Mom was sick. She only found out that she was sick the day before that. It is amazing what can happen and what can change in a year. She is so missed. I miss her more on the good days, the days when something happens that you just want to call and tell your mom. Again, it forces me to circle back to that “Line in the Sand” that I spoke of in the first post on this topic. The “before” days and now the “after” all feel very different. I am promised that time helps. I am also afraid that time helps one to forget. I know I will never forget, she was my mother. Time will fade and wear away, but never diminish.
Mom died at about 12:06 am on April 21, 2014. I know the minute because my brother was sending me hateful text messages at the exact moment. Everyone says “It is better now.” No. It is not better. There is a huge hole in my life where my mother was. She no longer hurts and is not sick anymore, but it is not better. It sucks differently now.
Now that it is over. Everything stops suddenly. All the bustle – the stress – the worry, all goes away . The silence sets in. I am grateful for it now. Yesterday was hard. My brother talked for 7 hours straight not letting anyone else say anything, not being very nice and being kind of drunk. Everyone copes in different ways.
Now it is over and I am settling in to the business of handling her affairs and all the junk work. I miss her. I miss her so much. I don’t miss the woman she was those last few weeks – that was someone that I did not know well, but still loved. I miss the woman she was before she got sick. I miss her brilliance, her independence, her will and organization. I miss talking about the important stuff and the not so important stuff.
My Dad is going through so much. He does not complain. It is such a huge void. When the funeral home came to get her, they made up the bed and left a little flower. He kept saying what a nice touch that was (and it was) and he wants to show it to her and tell her about it. He keeps telling me about things that he wants to tell her. Things he wants to show her. We have a long road ahead. I can just try to be the best that I can be for him. Be there as much as I can. Now the neighbors are all around and checking in, but I think in a few months he will know lonely with a capital “L.” I wish I could shield him from that. Take that from him and bear it myself, but I just can’t
I wonder if the executives of the tobacco companies ever had to sit at the bedside of a dying loved one? I wonder if they discuss how much morphine their customers can be given on the last day. Have they sat here watching someone die a very slow and painful death?
I am a horrible person. I am very horrible. And if I still believed in god (I don’t as of today) I would fear going to hell for saying this. But I am ready. Ready for it to be over. If there was a benevolent spirit he would have taken her already and not made my dad go through on more day of this.
It is so heart breaking to watch him with her. Fifty two years and he still wants to satisfy every need and want of hers. The needs are not making sense anymore. Real sentences do not come out.
I told him he needs to let her go. Letting her go and wanting her to go are two very different things. It is inevitable and impending. I can’t face one more day of pain.
He is such a trooper. Holding on. Getting through this. I just can’t watch one more day. I feel so horrible for saying this.
(Please forgive any typos but I wrote this post on my phone while sitting next to my mother’s bed.)
Mom is “transitioning” that is what the hospice calls it. I am not sure she know me all the time and she seems to have had some nice visits with her mother, her aunt and Uncle Charlie yesterday. She did tell me that she was going on a trip – it is a short flight. I agreed with her. She did say she had more baggage than she can carry.
My dad took a call from one of her steadfast friends offering to bring him dinner. Dad politely passed and hung up the phone. I asked him nicely to call back and accept. He was not getting me – said he did not want ribs. Dad, this is it. You need to let Lisa come see her one last time. One time. Only for a minute. Under the guise of bringing you something. This is not about ribs. No so much about you but about old friends. You need to let her do this.
Dad called back. Lisa did generously bring ribs for my dad’s dinner. She took a minute to quietly say good bye to Mom and left, not wanting to intrude. It is hard to be able to see outside when you are in the muck. Dealing with the pain and fear that he must be dealing with but others need to have there peace as well. It is time to let mom to go. That is hard to say, but it is time.
I know that I am selfish. Every morning my dad sends me a text message full of hope. She wants to go to the grocery store or she called him. He thinks today was better than yesterday. My heart breaks with each message of hope during a hopeless time. It is almost like he can’t comprehend that she is going to go. I never expected to lose a parent this early and I think it is too soon. I miss the crap out of her and she is not even gone yet. I am not ready either but I can’t see her like this. I hurts so bad to see him like this.