Thursday, November 26, 2009

So she's gone.

I was going to post something brief when I found out, but I wasn't sure what to say. I guess all there is to say is that it's over. I wish it could be that simple, but the truth is is that it won't be over.

I made it home from work, stopped by the house I was watching, then went "home." I called my mom to see where she was, but she wasn't there yet. Can't quite remember where she was, probably at the hospital. Yes, that's right. She was visiting at the hospital. She asked me if I could go let their dogs out, and I said yes. I made it to their driveway before breaking down completely.

I went in and saw the dogs, and wondered if they knew. Lucy, I'm sure, knew. I'd stopped by the night it happened, and she went up to their bedroom and wouldn't leave it. Goober was unusually playful, chewing on my arm at times.

My mom eventually came in with my sister, and we all cried and hugged. Then my mom went to drive an accompanying neighbor home. My sister and I left a little later, and I eventually went home.

That was Monday night. Tuesday they pulled the plug, and Wednesday morning she passed away.

I only saw her every so often, so I'm sure it hasn't quite hit me yet. Like I've said to everyone, though: every so often it does. It hits me. It hits me when I look through my old pictures, and see how close her and my mom were. I mean, I knew they were close, but when I see the pictures I took of them together, at the fair or shopping for flowers. And then I think of all the times she's been over at her house, or gone out for lunch with her, and I can't even imagine how much time they spend together when I'm at work. It just sucks for her.

It sucks for her husband, too. Who is going to do the dishes, and who is going to cook? Who is going to sweep the floors--not to completely domesticate her, but that was who she was. She was the loving mother and wife, and everytime I'm in that house I think of her. Her cigarettes. White hair and smile. Her laugh, and the things that made me lose patience with her. I wish I had been more patient.

It was hard those first two nights at her house, but it was even harder last night. A friend and I went to check on her Thanksgiving Turkey. The one she'd bought and invited us over for. The dinner we politely declined because we didn't want to wait hand and foot on a select few of her family members; more than that we didn't want to watch HER wait on them. Would that be irony? I don't know.

It was hard enough walking in that first day, finding that oxygen mask in the Thanksgiving basket. Seeing the whole house festively decorated with turkeys, leaves, and pilgrims. But to go upstairs, to that long room where they held their get-togethers--and seeing all the decorations there, all the table cloths, and all the plates. That was hardest of all. I can't imagine her up there, decorating it all herself. So happy and excited for the holiday... It just... yeah, it sucks.

Mom cried a lot today. Sister slept all day. I teared up several times, but my only real, tears streaming down, emotional moment was when I first woke up. The rest of the time I kept my brave-face on.

I don't know what is more depressing, though. The fact that she's gone, or the fact life will go on. The world will keep turning, clocks will keep ticking, and life will go on. That stupid, logical part of my brain tells me that sooner or later we all must die.. I know that, despite the pain I feel, I will keep moving on. One day, I might not even remember this person. I might be browsing some old photographs, 30 years from now, and stumble upon her face. "Who...?" I might ask.. I might remember, I might not. I hope I remember.

They're making the funeral arrangements. Her husband is going to bury her on his land. At first,, I thought it was a tad creepy. Now that I think of it, I'd rather be buried with my family and not surrounded by strangers. Not that it matters, I guess.

They need to find a wig for her, though. They had to shave away a lot of her hair for the tubing that drained her brain... I can't imagine her without her hair. And worse--with some wig that isn't her hair. What if it is the wrong color? What if they can't mask the hole in her head? I just don't know what to expect. This is Maine we're talking about--a place where they think great pizza is... well... I don't know. I'm just scared. I'm scared to see her, and I know that's perfectly normal (or, at least, I hope it is perfectly normal) but yet.. I don't know.

My grandmother died from an aneurysm. Years ago. I didn't see her, but they told me it was bad. real bad. For years, I had some false assumption that if I had chosen to go and see her, I could have said "goodbye." That's the mind of a child, for you; incapable of conceiving just what "real bad" meant. Real bad is a shaved head with tubes everywhere. Real bad is eyes shut with tongue hanging out, as my mother visually depicted out of raw emotion. Real bad is something I couldn't bring myself to see. I had the choice to see her, but couldn't do it.

When I saw my grandmother, at her funeral, I had this one reoccurring nightmare that she'd wake up and we'd hang out together. But she wasn't right, she had these large, swirly blue-purple pinwheel eyes. That's all I remember.

I'm afraid of that too. Of what memories it will drudge up, and what I'll wake up seeing in the middle of the night. I guess that's selfish. Selfish like Thanksgiving.

I told myself, "On this Thanksgiving, I will be thankful for knowing an angel" and that was how I tried to live the day. I think that's just a lame excuse to eat turkey and pretend nothing really changed, but I don't know. I just don't know.

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