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.