My mom died 3 years ago tomorrow. It feels like forever.
Although she died on July 27th, it is July 26th that I find myself a little more reflective, somber, and quiet.
On July 26, 2008, I spent a very peaceful day with my mom.
She didn't talk much. It was like she was in her own world and wouldn't let us in. Josh & my dad were in and out of her room. Occasionally she would look up to see who was with her. Some time during the day, all three of us were in the room, quietly doing different things. My dad sat in a rocking chair, mid room, reading through papers. Josh was near the window typing on the computer that was set up on a card table. I was sitting on a stool rubbing her feet. My mom looked up and scanned the room until she saw my dad. She looked directly at him and smiled, a small but familiar smile, almost to say "thank you" or "I'm sorry" and "I love you". He returned the smile and she put her head back down. I looked over at my dad and he smiled at me, reassuring me of what I just witnessed. Josh & I exchanged the same smile. We had all seen that look before from her. If we were sad, frustrated, or a little defeated, she would put her fist to her sides and shrug and give that same look or smile. It is my last memory of my mom as MY MOM. It is something I will never forget.
Although it was a hard day, it was a special day for me. I was so grateful to have spent the entire day in her presence. I recall trying to memorize her. At 4:30 pm, Jenn & Manda had arrived. Aaron told me I could stay but I knew it was time for me to leave. One by one, my kids came in to hug her and tell her they loved her. We aren't big "huggers" in my family but as I hugged her and cried, I didn't want to let go. I whispered "I love you". I would have given anything to hear her say "Bye hon" like she used to do on the phone or when I would leave her home, but all she said was "Ok". I knew it would be the last time I would hear my mom's voice. And it was.
Life goes on. I was told it would and it has. But each year. during this week, as I go about doing the "normal" life stuff - thoughts of my mom are close. Although I can't see her, or hear her, or even feel her, I know she isn't far. I know she is still aware of me and all of her children and grandchildren. I wish she was still here with us - there are so many things I need to tell her and lots of questions I need her to answer. I miss her so much. But, I will forever be grateful for the last day I spent with my mom.