It is real to me now, that my parents are gone. I avoided their house for many weeks until going down yesterday to check on progress for the sale. It doesn't look like it's been touched in awhile but that's okay. While I was sunning on the patio neighbor James Frank walked over for a visit. He misses them as much as we do for they were in his charge as homeland security. He noted that it almost looked like Miss Janice sitting out there. Mom rarely sat outside or did much other than go from house to car and other destinations. Daddy loved the outdoors but was too busy being on a mission to just SIT and be one with the earth. I returned this morning to pick flowers for their grave and promptly dumped a vase full of water in the Camry floor. As I wound my way through the cemetery I saw many others doing the very same thing. Easter is what's up when it comes to dead people.
I passed by the UMC flowering cross at the corner of Main and McGaughey and tried to remember Easter of last year and could not. I'm sure I picked up Daddy at least and maybe Mom. Depends on if it was raining. Nothing but a hair appointment would get that woman out in the rain with a walker and umbrella. She had just started going back to church when she passed out on the walker while going from SS to service and ended up with a broken hip. Dr. A told me right then to prepare for the end and he was right. I'm pretty sure Lori was working there then on the weekends because I think we re-potted his petunias a couple of weeks later. They were a hot mess, if you know what I mean. I kept one pot alive through the winter but it's dead to the world now.
Mom never had a peaceful day much after Daddy passed. She woke up crying and went to bed crying and often called for him at the end to help her through the pain. Her frail little body had shriveled from big girl size down to anorexia of the elderly. Daddy never gave up on the eating thing as long as he was able. Looking at the way both of them died with hospice, it couldn't be more different. Once his meds were in place he never moved. It was 48 hours between the last time he spoke to us and the 5AM phone call on August 4th. My youngest brother arrived just in time to see a bit of consciousness. It was peaceful. Mom, on the other hand, struggled with the whole letting go thing mightily,,,worrying and fretting over whether or not it would hurt or she'd be alone. It didn't, and she wasn't. We had managed to trick her into thinking that we were all there when Daddy died. She never knew the difference.
It's been a long haul, that's for sure. Beginning with the birth of half breed puppies ( TEN of 'em ) under the barn, the fabric of our life as a family began to unravel. Aunt Granny died the first of June, then Noler. We were at Curry's every week there for awhile. Three of the old timer docs I worked with passed around that time as well. I remember thinking that it was all happening too fast and things just needed to be "normal." I suppose we found the new normal such as it is. Neither time that I left did I expect it to happen that soon. You just never know what the Lord has in mind for a body.
Once upon a time I took my pre-teen SS class in a church van to sit amongst the tombstones and talk about how He is not there. They thought it was pretty cool to not be in church reading from the New Testament in fancy clothes. I parked near my grandparents graves and we chatted about what the resurrection means in real life for Christians. I think a couple of the 20 "got it." There was not a bunny in sight, by the way.
It's like I'm coming out of a cocoon or something, being born again on the other side of darkness. Grief does that to people, you know. I've been very careful not to do anything major or life changing because you know there's that one year rule. Of course if Sugardaddy came along, I'd make an exception.