My mom passed away Friday, March 14th at 7:35 in the evening. I’d been with her all day and had left to eat dinner and spend some time with my husband and daughter at about half past five. It was about 7:30 when I told my husband I felt like I needed to get back, but the phone call came before I made it out the door. Mom was gone.
We met my sister and brother-in-law at the nursing home to say goodbye before the funeral home came to take her. She was peaceful when I left that afternoon and I know she rests in peace now. You see, earlier in the day I’d asked the Hospice nurse to call for the chaplain and I was there when the chaplain arrived. And I know who was in that room as she prayed. My mom didn’t live a peaceful life, and we wanted nothing more for her than a peaceful passing and rest in the afterlife.
I have no doubt in my mind that she’s resting peacefully in the arms of a loving God right now.
For the next four days we braced ourselves and held on to each other. We’d been doing this for so long. It felt like we’d been driving 110 mph since October and someone just yanked the emergency brake without any warning at all. The world was swirling around us but we were standing still. But we soldiered on through a visitation and a humbling graveside service – and we said our thank you’s and our goodbyes through a beautiful mixture of laughter and tears.
And in the midst of all this, my sister was still keeping doctor’s appointments for her new pregnancy. Her first pregnancy. A pregnancy that she’s absolutely over the moon about. A baby that our mom will never see. It’s the very definition of bittersweet.
My daughter kept roses from Mom’s flowers and dried them to keep…one for her herself, one for her step-sister, and the smallest one for her baby cousin that will never know its Nana, except through the stories she will tell. It’s preciously heartbreaking.
Five days after my mom passed I met a friend for lunch and we talked for three hours. It was blissfully normal and I cherished every minute of it.
Six days after our mom passed my sister met one of her friends for lunch. I hope she enjoyed her lunch as much as I enjoyed mine, but I suspect she didn’t. And it’s probably because I called her sounding like a raving lunatic right in the middle of her lunch.
About mid-day (you know, as my sister was having lunch with her friend) I opened my email and found a response to a query I’d sent back in January. Rejection at this time in my life barely resulted in even a blip of emotion in me. I mean my face didn’t even fall. I might’ve even rolled my eyes a little as I double clicked the sender’s name.
Then I stared at the screen in disbelief. Not a rejection, but a request.
I screamed. I jumped out of my chair. I freaked out the dog. I ran around the living room. I re-read the email. It wasn’t a request for a partial at all.
It was a request for a full.
I nearly hyperventilated. Then I screamed some more – to the point that the dog got so excited this time that she bit me (not hard).
I called my husband and screamed.
I started to dial my mom’s number – and I cried.
I called my sister and must’ve sounded off my rocker.
My first request for a full!
And Mom would never know.
My sister stopped by my house after her lunch was over (possibly to make sure I hadn’t spontaneously combusted). I told her that I’d never been this happy and this depressed all at the same time before in my life. She looked at me and said, “Yeah, tell me about it.” And we laughed. I reckon she does know how I feel.
We’re living two beautiful lives with husbands that love us and children we adore.
And we miss you, Mom.