Monday, June 25, 2012

My mother died

My mother died on June 15, 2012 at 9:30am right before my sister and I started our first legs at the Ragnar.  That's very important.  We told her in May that that particular weekend wasn't good for us to have her die but APPARENTLY our wishes don't count.  Just kidding.  We still got our medals and our stickers and our shirts for participating.

My dad called my phone because he couldn't get a hold of my sister.  He was crying and said, "I think your mom just died."  What did he mean by he "thinks" she just died.  Either one is dead or they aren't.  But she was.  My sister started crying immediately but I went into "planning and being the boss" mode.  About an hour later when I talked to my second daughter to tell her about grandma she started crying and that's what put me over the edge.

 I had about an hour to get myself together for my leg of the race.  Which was hard and crappy.  7.8 miles up Avon pass.  A dusty, dirt road up over a mountain.  The last two miles of the leg nobody passed me.  Even the hard core runners were walking it.  Kristen (my sister) ran down the other side of the pass into Eden then my brother-in-law picked us up and took us home.  I bawled for a good portion of that drive.  I tried to do it quietly so I wouldn't upset my BIL and my sister but they could hear me.

As soon as I talked to my dad I called my husband and told him to cancel all of his appointments and get up to his house.  He's so awesome.  He did exactly that and stayed all day.

We finally got to my dad's house at about 5:00pm and stayed until about 8:00. 

The next day we went to the funeral home and picked out a lovely poplar casket, a dress, temple clothing, flowers, etc.  My sister went up to one of the caskets and kicked the wheel of one of the carts and said, "I'll take it!"  Because that's how we roll. 

The following Tuesday we met our hair girl down there and she did my mother's hair.  She looked dead.  We joked around and poked at her and got her hair done.  On Thursday morning we went and dressed her.  Non-Mormons will think this is weird.  Well, maybe even Mormons will think it's weird but she needed to be dressed in her LDS Temple clothing and only Mormons know how to do that.  She looked lovely.  That night was her viewing so we told them to draw some eyebrows on her as she has none.  My sister plucked them all out years ago.  Completely on accident.  Completely.

My dad hadn't seen her since the morticians had come to get her on the day she had died so when he came into the funeral home that evening and saw her he started to cry.  She was so pretty to him.  He said that he would court her all over again.  My poor dad.

The following is an excerpt from an email I sent a friend about the day of the funeral:

It was an exhausting, long day.  We were so happy to see those who came but when it came time to put on her veil and close the casket all three of us lost it. And we forgot to take a picture of her in the casket.  The funeral itself was great.  My cousin Kelli gave the life sketch, the grandkids sang a song and Emily accompanied.  Kristen and I spoke together and told several funny stories about my mother and her crazy antics over the years.  The chapel was filled with laughter.  Then we both blubbered through our last thoughts and testimonies.  We barely got it together enough to sing Amazing Grace (the MoTab version) and I only broke at the last two lines when I happened to look at my dad.  So I quickly stopped looking.  The bishop told a story about how she Jazzied up to him once and told him he was a good bishop and said that she probably said that to all her bishops to which in reply in unison we all three said, "Nooo!"  We'd forgotten to tell a story about Cliff Henkel and his 7 year reign of terror.  I'll tell you about it sometime.  The pallbearers hauled her out to the car and then I said to my cousin, "Let's eat!"  They think I'm terrible.  And then Kristen comes up to me and says the exact same thing.

We drove up to the cemetery in Wellsville and had another cousin dedicate the grave and my dad bore his testimony.  Then he sat down and I leaned over and said, "Now what?"  Then Kristen leaned over and said, "Now what?"  Then my dad let everyone know it was over.

We cried a good deal of the day.  I was exhausted when I got home and went straight to bed.

Saturday was really solemn and quiet.  Jon was having a party for my birthday and my dad came but left early because he "wanted to be alone with his thoughts."  My sister walked him out and he was crying.  I guess he cried all the way home then when he got into the house he lay on my mother's side of the bed and bawled for a long time he said.  Sunday was better although I saw a friend of mine from the other ward who works for the hospice that took care of my mother and I talked to him about the nurse coming and I started bawling.  It comes and goes like that.

Today is fabulous.  I feel good.  Kristen and I went up to my dad's and started going through my mom's stuff.  We went through the jewelry today and I gathered a bunch of genealogy my mom had in a drawer since I'm the one interested in that stuff.  Then we went out for Mexican food.  My dad paid.  We made him.  He's doing good today.

I need to write everything down that happened before I forget.  But I don't know if I have the energy to do it.  This is a good start, though.  I don't feel like she's hovering around anymore.  I felt like she was hovering around until we dedicated the grave.  I didn't realize I felt that way until later."

There is more to it but I'm not in the mood.  It has been a moody couple of weeks.  A few days before she died I was able to spend several hours with her,  Kristen did it again the next day.  On both days she was really lucid.  The day before she died we took turns going up and sitting with her.  Her oxygen levels were really low and the next day she died.  Really fast, too.  It was kind of amazing.

1 comment:

  1. I am awesome... Oh, wait, this post isn't about me... Another wonderful post, honey l