(I originally posted this on LiveJournal. I’m editing it because I don’t want to share everything with the world.)
I last saw my mom on the Sunday before Memorial Day. She was incredibly upset. She brought over a trunk full of stuff, some of which we kept, some of which is in our garage awaiting a long-anticipated garage sale. She gave Jack a really lovely Disney snow globe. (It turns out that the snow globe was a present from her manicurist.)
I talked to her Monday or Tuesday.
The phone rang Thursday morning, a little bit before 8 am. We have distinctive rings for each of our parents, so I knew it was my parents calling. I picked up the phone next to the bed.
Dad: Ah… you’re awake.
Me: Not really.
Dad: Mama passed away.
Me: Are you serious?!?
We had a brief discussion, and then I told my dad I’d be over later. I cried for awhile. Jack woke up. I had to stop crying.
I emailed my managers and two of the program managers I work with. I ate breakfast. I called my sister and left a message on her machine. I assumed my dad would have called her at work, so I called her home and just said, “Call me when you have a chance.” My Aunt Sue called me. She had called my mom to discuss the new carpet. That’s when she found out. She called the other aunts and uncles (though not my Aunt Monica, their step-sister). Apparently, my dad didn’t get ahold of my sister, so I called her at work. Her boss told me she was on vacation. I said, “Oh my God she’s in South Carolina!”
I had to explain to her boss who I was and why I was calling. Boss Lady said she’d try to contact Ann. I found my brother-in-law’s cell phone number and called it.
Ann: Hell-lo? (subtext: Why are you calling me?)
Ann: What’s up? (subtext: Why are you calling me?)
Me: Are you in a place where you can sit down?
Ann: I’m sitting down. (subtext: are you insane?)
Me: Mom died this morning.
Ann: (breathless) What?
She had to hand the phone to my b-i-l (Jim) and I told him the little that I knew.
I headed to my Dad’s at about 11. I got there as he was leaving to go to the church. The coroner had just left. I drove my dad in my mom’s car. Mom wouldn’t let anyone drive her car, certainly not my father. I got to drive it once, to Safeway, which is about a mile away, and even then I had to promise not to drive over the speed limit or park near other cars. So, driving Mom’s car certainly made me realize she wasn’t there anymore.
We talked to the priest, one I didn’t know. This was actually good, because the normal parish priest called my mom “Nancy”. (Her name is Kathy.) We picked a day for the funeral. We dropped the drapes off at the dry cleaners. We went back to my dad’s house, and dad started picking up one thing after another. He wanted to find Mom’s wedding ring. I couldn’t find it anywhere, though I did find her engagement ring. I got him to sit down and we picked some readings. It was a hodge-podge day. We couldn’t find my grandmother. We knew she played golf in the morning, but when it was about 1:30 and no one had heard from her, my sister (still in SC, looking for flights) said I should call security at her retirement community. At that moment, Grandma pulled up in front of Dad’s house. She was incredibly upset. But, she found my mom’s wedding ring.
My cell phone was lost, so I had to use Max’s, which I hate. I can’t answer it without pressing a button and cutting the person off, and I can’t go through the menus to call back, because the menus are pictures.
I stayed at my Dad’s until after dinner time. I got home around 7:30, and Jack wanted to know why I’d been at Nana and Grandpa’s all day. I told that story in my post about my mom dying.
I didn’t get to bed until sometime after 2 am. My sister’s friend Heidi called and woke me up just before 9 am on Friday. But that is the next day…