Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Mom's death. I thought about going to the cemetery today, but I didn't. It just didn't seem like something I wanted to do. I mean, what would I do there? Stand by my parents' grave and my brother's grave and cry on this bitter cold day? I can do that just fine here and stay warm. Really, there's more of my mother right here in my living room than there is in the cemetery. I can look in every direction and see her in the art on the wall, the antique clock ticking softly, the photos on the side table.
That was quite a day, one year ago. I was sitting right here with two of my pals, doing crafty things, when the nursing home called. The nurse said that Mom had expired.
Expired. LIke a coupon.
My pals hugged me, Joe held me, I started making calls. My sisters, my brother, the funeral home... then we drove out to the nursing home because I had to do something; I couldn't just sit at home. I thought we had let enough time elapse that the funeral home would have already picked up her body, but I was wrong. The young woman who was taking her away was still there. She asked if I wanted to see her.
I thought about saying no, but I didn't. I said yes. Since I wasn't there when she left, I thought I should take a last look before I packed up her few remaining things.
So the young woman unzipped the carrying bag and I went in the room. I let the tears come as I touched her cool skin and kissed her forehead and looked at her still, peaceful face.
And I said goodbye to my mother, one year ago tomorrow.