Itâ€™s been a while since Iâ€™ve posted anything on Gather, though Iâ€™ve been reading and commenting on your articles and poems and viewing photos for over a month. Just not ready to do so. I was out of town for two weeks in late September / early October, heading to Michigan to visit Mom and my sibs. Mom was not doing well and had just gone onto hospice care at her assisted living residence. I planned to be there for her and my older sisterâ€™s birthday.
To the surprise of all of us, Mom passed away on the day of my travel. So the visit became both a leave-taking and a time of coming together with my sisters and brother and some of their family. In the next few days, I went to the funeral home with two of my siblings the next day to finalize arrangements. My younger sister and I returned there to see Mom for one last time. We packed up and cleaned out Momâ€™s room. My older sister celebrated her 60th birthdayâ€¦a bittersweet occasion. It was good to be with my family at this timeâ€¦we shared meals and walks and shopping. My sisters helped me find a dress to wear to a wedding my own family will be attending in November. We looked at hundreds of pictures remembering times past. Dad loved his Polaroid camera, and all our various phases and strange garb of the fifties, sixties and seventies were captured for all to savor, cringe, and reminisce over.
We decided not to have a funeral for Momâ€¦Dadâ€™s funeral had been overly stressful for us three years earlier, and all their significant relatives and friends had either already passed on or lived too far away to easily travel. Instead, my older sister and I put together a memorial message and photo collage to send everyone. We may do more of this on our Christmas messages. Also, on the funeral home website, relatives could post memories of Mom. These have been wonderful to read. Because Dadâ€™s job-changing meant that we moved five times during our childhood, we werenâ€™t able to be with our extended family and dear family friends as much as weâ€™d have liked, but often enough that those special occasions were remembered.
I was able to take a few days to visit old friends in Lansing, renew our ties, and even play music with some members of my former Scandinavian band, â€œSwedes for a Day,â€ during the featured bandâ€™s break at a local contradance, which some of my friends attended. Iâ€™ll post some of these when I am able (Gather is not letting me post photos at this time).
Life is good and moves onâ€¦I am not sunk in grief (yes, the moments come and go), but remembering Momâ€™s loving heart and our good times together as a family. I know she lives on, and Iâ€™ve dreamt about her; that I was able to put my arms around her and tell her I loved her, and I got the impression that she was going to have a big memorial party put on for her in the afterlife. Mom had been seeing her beloved husband and sisters for months before her departure. Though she was â€œaloneâ€ at the time she departed this life, I know that they came to escort and welcome her Home.
I love you forever, Mom!