In thinking about what to post, I found myself dwelling on this odd fact of today. It's August 19, and it has been one year exactly since my mother passed away.
I thought today might be an emotional wreck of a day; I thought maybe I'd find a way to commemorate it beyond writing, in what I cooked for dinner or what I watched on television or what I read or something.
But it was a very typical Sunday. We got up for church, took the longer route home, played with Annalise, took naps and watched sports. Coincidentally, the Yankees are playing the Red Sox tonight and they're winning - because Mom would not have it any other way, of course.
I haven't been melancholy or really even sad, and I wondered why.
Not that it took much to figure that out. August 19 has the fact of Mom's death - but other days have the distinction of being the really terrible days.
September 9, 2008 was the day she sent me an email confirming that she had ALS. Mother's Day 2008 was the day I knew that she did. I think those two dates stand out as the absolute worst for me; those were the days I knew I was losing her, because there is no coming back from ALS. Not yet, and maybe not ever.
Thanksgiving 2008. The last time Mom and I went shopping together - we went to the mall to find Christmas stockings for my house
Christmas 2008. The only time Mom ever got to see my house and spend Christmas with us in Austin.
January 12, 2009 was the last time she sent me an email - it was to ask if I could find her a Texas flag for her garden and to ask what I wanted for my birthday.
In November 2009, Mom went to the hospital for pneumonia for the third time in two months, and didn't make it out until January 2010. She coded upon arrival at the hospital and Dad had a huge fight with the doctors over whether to take Mom off a ventilator. She had to get a tracheotomy as a compromise. This was the start of the final decline - she had at least one stroke during that time, and she also had problems with dementia. When she came home in January, she never left her bed again.
March 3, 2010. The last time anyone told me that Mom laughed.
July 27, 2010, the doctors told Dad they thought Mom had lung cancer. Then in August they decided maybe she didn't. Then, when she passed, they confirmed that she did.
All of this to say, it's been more than a year. It's been nearly four years, in reality. There are too many anniversaries and too many stumbling points, things that make me miss her and hurt that she's not here. August 19 is the day that she was set free - she no longer had to go through this, and she was released of all pain and suffering and doubt. She opened her eyes in a better world.
One year. This isn't everything I want to say, but it's enough for the moment.