At exactly 3:17 A.M. this morning, one year ago, you drifted into eternal sleep.
When Margarett called 911 on the morning of October 22nd because you had become unresponsive and called to tell me that I needed to get there in a hurry, I knew you were leaving us. I knew, once they closed the doors of the ambulance and especially while I was trying my hardest to keep up with them, that I would never be able to catch up. I knew you were flying away beyond my grasp. I was pushing my car to the limit, but in truth, even if I had been able to keep up, the fact is, you had already started your take-off for heaven. It would be months before I spoke the words out loud, but I knew you weren’t coming back.
So Many People
So many people paid their respects. There were people here that we hadn’t heard from or seen in years. The support we received was nothing short of amazing. You were so very, very loved. As acrimonious as my marriage had been, my ex-husband came and was visibly shaken. It was the same with Margarett’s ex-husband. You had handled up on both of them for the foolishness they had pulled over the years with your girls, but both of them, just like everyone else who was here, knew that any discipline you imparted came from a place of love. You took no prisoners when it came to us, but few people ever walked away from you without having learned a lesson while feeling the love.
Many people were only able to call because they couldn’t bear to say goodbye. Your death was extremely painful for so many people, but especially your children and grandchildren.
What’s Happened In the Days Since Then
We’ve been pushing forward just as you would expect us to. I moved back home a couple of weeks after your funeral and it’s one of the smartest things I could have done for two reasons. The first is that I’ve been able to save money while getting Will through school since his dad has all but abandoned him financially except for the very bare minimum. More importantly, we’ve been able to comfort each other day and night in the wake of your passing. Linda is back so that means that we five of your six children are within yelling distance of each other.
Will has grown in more ways than you can imagine. You would be so proud. He knows that you would be. He is excelling in his programming classes and even though he’s sitting out this season because of that shoulder injury, he’s already vowed to dedicate the 2017 football season to you and your memory.
As for me, I finally started graduate classes and this time, there is no turning back. You made certain that I always had a ton of books to read and plenty of paper to write my feelings down on. I’m finally going to get to share my love of literature, English, and writing by instructing students when I become a college professor. It will be a few years before I’m tenured in that position, but I will be teaching as soon as I complete the program in 2018. You insisted that we all get out college degrees, especially your girls. Thank you for pushing so hard.
Mentally and emotionally, I’m getting better. I still haven’t had the traditional breakdown that many people have when they lose their mother. I took care of your arrangements because the rest of them were too distraught when you passed. I picked out your dress, I made sure your hair was the way you would have wanted it. I wanted to make sure you would be dressed to the nines when you came out on the other side.
Letting You Go
I was able to release you the morning your soul left your physical body. You had been in so much pain. Dementia had eaten away at you and left you a mere shell of the woman you had been. Rheumatoid arthritis had riddled your joints to the point that you had been on a walker for many years before you passed. In the end, sepsis would take your life. When I bent down to kiss you as you lay in ICU, I whispered in your ear, “It’s okay for you to go; we’ll be okay.”, you turned to look at me and I could see the peace wash over you. You would get your wings two days later. When they allowed us to see you at 3:25 that morning, you were still warm. You looked like you were napping. There was such an amazing sense of peace in the room.
I miss you more than you can imagine. Some days I’m stunned with grief, but I keep going forward. Rest on, Mama, rest on.