Keep On Keeping On

The kids are finally home.  This momentous occasion was celebrated by looking at a duck pond.  Lucy decided “pond” was a more apt moniker than “puddle,” Zachary agreed, so I deferred to them.  It is a more appealing term than “swamp” for most people.

The Ball-Perkins Park rests behind our house.  This is a massive bit of undeveloped woods and field that we love to explore.  In the summer the city mows it.  Right now it is suffering from an outbreak of vernal ponds.  Meadows probably get embarrassed by such outbreaks, but we find it fun to watch the ducks.  When it warms up we’ll see if any amphibians have joined the party.  The ground is very squishy.

Sam and I missed the kids a great deal.  I was so bored without them I finally took down the Christmas lights – a job I had unofficially delegated to the next renters of the house.  We are still couch-less thanks to skunks and jumping on couches, but we should have the new one delivered this week.

My whole day seemed to point like an arrow toward Dad calling me on the phone.  No doubt bittersweet for him – he wants to talk to me and to have company, but also obviously wants us to trust he will be all right.  I think he will be.  Work for him starts again tomorrow which will offer some great distraction.  He’ll be okay.  And probably live for another thirty years for all we know!

I also start work tomorrow.  It has been a week and I have missed the students.  There’s a whirlwind of work to catch up on by Thursday as spring break is next week!  We are going to have a bit of a “five-paragraph” boot camp, I think.  Also, there will be science involved, because that is the most valuable subject.

Mom

I never thought I’d have to write about my mom for a long, long time.  She passed away Sunday morning.  We still don’t know why, but she had many health problems.  She and dad never shared the full extent with us, but she was much wearier than I knew.  There are many moments of disbelief and I imagine there will be for a long time.

I don’t know how to deal with this loss, but I do know to keep moving forward, so that is what I will do.  My wife is with me.  Our remaining family is strong.  I have great friends and coworkers making this much easier to deal with than it could be.

Mom.

I love her so much and I won’t get to tell her that anymore.   She knew.  She knew how much I loved her and appreciated her, but I still want to tell her again and again.

She was visiting my grandfather (96) over the weekend.  I went down Friday night, excited to see her and Grandpa.  We sat up and talked for a long while that night and we woke up to go to the sale barn in Hillsdale.  Mom had been giving me the business that my cousin Jeff would be there “by 8:30” so I had better be up and ready.

Well, Jeff wasn’t there by 8:30 and mom slept in!  She came out in her PJs about 9:45 and I got her moving.  We drove to the sale barn in my truck and had a great time just talking about nonsense and looking at chickens and ducks and such.  There was not much to be seen so we stopped at the Market House for toilet paper and headed home.

Mom had made Guiness stew and I helped her season it up a bit.  She made biscuits.  So, I know the last thing mom made were biscuits and stew.  Sam called later and I headed home to help with couch-related business.  I told mom I loved her and texted her later that I was safe.  She texted back:

“Good. Take Care.  Love to All.”

Grandpa called the next day as Sam and I headed back from the store.  I thought it was probably mom using his phone, but it was Grandpa.  And he told me what had happened and I didn’t believe him.  The state trooper told me.  Sam had to take the phone and I don’t remember much for a few minutes.

I am grateful to know the last words I said to my mom were that I loved her.  I don’t know if my cousin, Jeff, will ever know how grateful I am that he was in town to help Grandpa sort through the police happenings.

Mom went through a lot in her life, and I always knew she may die young – but this is too young.  She loved to fish, hike, explore, travel, knit, garden, read, and was always up for any adventure.  She loved it when Sam and I dragged her along for camping trips and had planned to go with Sam this summer up north.

She loved her Grandkids, all of them.

I don’t want her to be gone, but she is gone.  I am grateful for all the people who have shown love for her in passing.  Everyone I knew liked her.  She was a mom for many people in the family, never questioning that role and never turning down requests for help.

I am going to miss her.  All I want is my mom back.