Memories and melancholy

It’s been almost 11 years since my mother died.   

There are parts of that night that I don’t remember.   I remember waking up to pee, and the phone ringing.   We didn’t have a phone upstairs so I had to run downstairs to answer it – and I let the machine take it till I heard the words “Green Manor.”  The nursing home was calling at 3:00 am, it couldn’t be good news.   

I remember telling the person on the phone to go back and check, that Mother was fine when I left, that they’d made a mistake.  I remember her telling me that a funeral home in Catskill had been listed as the place to call, and saying “no, that’s not right, you have the wrong person.”   

I remember calling Mark first, and crying so hard he could barely understand me.  I remember calling Michele.  I don’t remember calling Nancy or Janet.  I know that I did, but I don’t remember anything about it.  I have no idea what I said to them, or what they said to me.

I remember sitting on the floor in the kitchen, sobbing.   I remember curling up in Mother’s chair, and crying so hard I couldn’t breathe.

I remember going to the airport the next day, and practically attacking Mark when I saw him.   I remember clinging to him, but I don’t remember anything else, till we were in the car and he was asking if I could drive.   I remember being afraid to let him out of my sight, and that he made me dinner, and he held me till I fell asleep from exhaustion.   

He was with me when we went to the funeral home, when I told the funeral director that Mother wanted the same thing Poppa had, and so there were no real decisions to make.  He was with me when I lost all control, and sobbed in his arms at the wake.   He was with me when I left the funeral and went to the cemetery – he drove my car, and I remember someone asking if I needed a ride, and thinking that was the stupidest question I ever heard.   

I remember thinking that there would come a time when this wouldn’t hurt so much.   

After ten years, I’m still waiting for that day.   

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