The days go by much more quickly than they used to. Squatting down to put Spike’s harness and leash on makes my knees pop louder than they did last year. I look to the future and can’t see how I can ever retire. It seems life is never all sunshine and lollipops, but rather one adaptation after another. But there are good times, too, I know.
Not so right now. My mother passed away very recently, and I hurt inside. She was 92 when it happened…quietly in her sleep. At least that’s what the attending nurse told my sister and me when we went to the hospital to sign the release papers. I hope that’s true.
She was a wonderful person. She practically had to raise us kids on her own because Dad worked so much. He’d leave in the morning and not get home until very late. Back then wives were not supposed to work outside of running the household. She did manage to bring in a bit of extra money by teaching the neighborhood girls how to embroider. And she did the ironing for one of the older ladies up the street.
Mom was one of those mothers who joined the PTA, volunteering for all those bake sales and carnivals. She also headed up the Alter Guild at church before it got to be just too hard on her. When my dad died she tried to keep herself busy by being the chairperson for Bingo in her retirement community. All this made her a very well-known person in her circle of friends and neighbors. But she always put the family first.
She lived alone (not counting the mother and daughter she took in when they lost their home) up until this year. When she had a couple of nasty falls the doctor talked her into moving into an assisted living home where once again she was the life of the party. If I remember right it was in April or May. She really enjoyed life there. I think she was relieved not to have to fix her meals, clean house, etc.
All that activity for all of her life always amazed me because I knew how dreadfully shy she was. But that was never shown to others. They all saw her as a leader and a dear friend. She used to call it “playing PTA” when she would start a project and then get others to join in just by showing how much fun she was having.
My sister, niece, daughters and I got the unpleasant chore of packing up Mom’s house and getting it ready for sale when she moved into the home. The rest of the family pitched in to help move the furniture to storage. When it was all done I stopped in at the house one more time to check for missed items. The place was so very empty. I had to remind myself that Mom was still alive. My sister took all this work of selling the place hard, too. I kept telling her that it was not so bad. Mom was having a great time in her new home.
Now Mom is gone from this Earth though she still lives in my heart and always will. The holidays are going to really suck this year just like they did when my dad died. It was around the same time of year when he succumbed to cancer.
I’m gonna miss you for a very long time, Mom.