Me and Mom having lunch at Wegmans in Downingtown, PA Feb. 2009
I didn't know it at the time, but this was the last meal I would have with my Mother
I knew this would happen.
Today was another one of those days that hit me hard how much I am going to miss my Mother.
Mom died last month, September 16th. We knew she was dying. Her death was actually a blessing because the last three weeks she suffered much. Even though we knew she was dying her death still was a shock to the system.
We had our funeral for Mom. Everything went perfectly. The weather was clear, sunny and crisp. The James J. Terry Funeral Home in Downingtown saw to our every need.
For the past twenty-five years or more I've always taken Mom to the family funerals. Mom would have loved her service.
Now that everything is all settled down I knew there would be those unexpected times that some place or thing would rudely trigger my memory of just how much I will miss her.
Last week was one such occasion. I was shopping at J.C. Penney at the Dover Mall. They had a great sale of women's nightgowns and bathrobes. I always used to buy my Christmas presents for Mom early. I also brought her birthday present at the same time. Her birthday was on December 24th. I always made sure she got separate birthday presents wrapped in birthday paper. She often told me the story of how when she was a little girl she never got a birthday present but instead was told "this is your birthday AND Christmas present." All my life I made sure she got a separate birthday present and one that wasn't wrapped in Christmas paper either.
When I was shopping at J.C. Penney's last week I almost bought her a soft, fluffy bathroom until I remembered....Mom is no longer here. The stabbing pain of loss hit me right there in the middle of the crowded floor of Penneys. I paused while a wave of sadness washed over me. I took a few minutes to recover then I continued to shop.....for myself.
In a few weeks it will be my birthday. My Mother, all her life, never missed sending me a birthday card. NEVER. Friends come and go. Sometimes they send me cards, sometimes they forget and sometimes they just don't send me a card because they don't consider me worthy of a card. But my Mom, SHE ALWAYS sent me a card. SHE NEVER MISSED. NEVER.
This year I had already purchased a birthday and Christmas card for Mom. Mom wasn't too much on receiving presents (she always told me I bought her too much) but she did like to receive a card. I wanted to make sure she got her cards this year. I sent them to her a week before her death.
I'm glad I did. John said that even in her pain and her confused mental state at the end, she did recognize the cards and that they were from Number # 1 Son (that would be me). John said she smiled when he showed her the cards.
I made sure to send them on two separate days too. I always made sure not to include her cards together. That's the way she wanted it.