My mom died . . .

last Monday.

Last Monday morning, I got a phone call from my father, telling me that my mother's condition was deteriorating rapidly. I knew that she was not doing well - I had pretty much dropped everything on Friday the 19th and gone down for Friday and Saturday, and, although her condition was critical, I didn't realize (nor did any of us) that it was essentially terminal. The nurses could not tell us, point-blank, that the prognosis was dire, merely that it was a serious situation. (She was diagnosed with stage IIIc colon cancer back in August, and we found out just after Christmas that the tumor was back, and essentially inoperable, though there was hope that a different chemo regimen might make a difference.)

Anyway, I started making phone calls for someone to watch the munchkin, and was on the road within a couple of hours. Not soon enough, however - but even if I had been able to leave as soon as I got the call, I could not have made it in time.

So, all of last week was taken up with dealing with the mortuary, the family visitation, the memorial service, and so forth. It was not fun, but it was in a way assuring to see all the people at the service, people whose lives she had influenced and whose hearts she had touched. Many of my dad's co-workers attended the service, and the local Girl Scout office (my mom was in GSA for decades as a leader, even after my sisters were out of it) sent probably close to a dozen people, in full GSA uniform.

We're all grieving, in our own ways. My dad has his good moments, where he can recall all of the happy memories, and his bad ones, where he thinks about all of the things that they kept putting off for next year. My younger sister is doing okay, mostly, though she has had the strain of helping care for mom during most of the month. My youngest sister, who is still in college, is taking it pretty hard. She's back at school, or at least back in her dorm, where her friends are trying to cheer her up. As for me, I'm back at home, and trying to be mindful of exactly how short are days really are.

I mean, if you are lucky, you might see 85 or 90 Christmases, and you probably won't remember the first 5 or 10 all that well, if at all. You only get the ring in the New Year on four score occasions (roughly), and you might only see 20 leap years. That's not that many. I'm trying to treasure each day, and stop putting off the books I want to read "later", or the projects that can wait until "next year." I can't do it all at once, but something like this makes you think about how short life really is.

(If you are interested, my mom's obituary is here.)


Blogger Wes said...

The world will be a little less brighter, the bird's song a little less sweeter, and the air a little less crisper, for a while. But all that will pass as sorrow gives way to pride gives way to hope. Your family is in my prayers.

2:57 PM  
Blogger runr53 said...

I am sorry for your loss. My soulmate of 33 years is in a battle of her own with cancer and I know it is not easy to deal with. You and yours are in my prayers.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Randy A. (Gamco) said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Matt had mentioned a couple of weeks ago that she was ill, but I had no idea how dire the situation was. You and your family are in my thoughts are prayers. I hope brighter days are ahead for you.

3:58 PM  

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