Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

One year ago today

One year ago today, I woke up and checked, par usual, my cell phone.  I had multiple missed calls: a bunch from my sister, which wasn't unusual; a few from my dad, which was; and a couple from my brother-in-law, which was completely unheard of. My mom had been taken to the ER the day before and I realized that, unlike the previous two times she had been brought to the ER in the past year, something had gone wrong.  It was 9am my time, which meant that none of my family in California was up and answering their phone. I didn't have to wait long.  Within about 20 minutes, my dad called me back and confirmed what I was worried had happened: my mom had finally died. 

She had been failing for some time prior, and like I said, she'd fallen into this pattern where her blood pressure would drop so much that they would take her to the ER. She'd stay there for a couple of days, get stable, be transitioned to a care facility, and then stay there for a few days/weeks/months until she was ready to come home.  Wait a few months, and the whole cycle would start all over again. So when my family called the day before to let me know she'd been taken in to the ER again, I was concerned, but not overly so.  I felt certain enough that it would be the same old same old that when I went to bed (and I went to bed early because I was about five months pregnant and in the exhaustion phase), I didn't bother to take my phone with me.  I still feel bad about my sister having to be there at the end, by herself, being unable to reach me.

I had planned to go to California in the end of August for my 20th high school reunion. After some thought, we decided to stick to that plan and hold a memorial service for her that same weekend.  It turned out to be a really nice event. We had it at the local performing arts center, got some caterers to take care of the food, had my brother-in-law and sister put together a fantastic slide show with pictures of my mom as we all remembered her, and hit up a few of her former colleagues and students to see if they would be willing to talk at the memorial.  I had been worried about getting through it, but it was really wonderful to see so many people there with their own great memories of my mom. Oddly enough, it turned out to be a better reunion than my high school reunion the night before - maybe 30 people came to that reunion, while I think about 120 people signed in at my mom's service.   

I have been dreading this week for some time now, which is stupid because one year, 11 months, 13 months later, it's all the same. Grief is grief.  I guess you just have to get through it.  


  • At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, grief is grief, that is for sure. I felt the same way-- I was dreading the day coming this year, and yes, there were parts of it that were really rough. But I got to spend the evening watching a sort of "revamped" slide show with my dad and bro, eating a slice of cherry pie (which I had gotten in her honor--her very favorite), and reminiscing about happier times. I figured I have the rest of the year to be sad, but that day we wanted to be more reminiscent. Still, a tough day. :-(


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