I went to the library today and came home happily lugging a pile of books in. The first one I am reading is Unspeakable by Meghan Daum, a writer I am unfamiliar with. The beginning pages had me laughing in recognition. Like me, she uses her life as fodder for her writing. And she talks about her mother and her mother’s death from gall bladder cancer.
Her mother gets increasingly squirrelly during her last days and says to her daughter, “I need to ask you one thing. How did we get kidnapped?” And I snorted with laughter, sympathetic and knowing laughter.
Death is not a dignified event most of the time. During Bob’s last few days before he went into the hospice facility, my son and I were called in the bedroom to look at pictures hanging over the fireplace in our bedroom. Bob was seeing them inside of a floral water color that my mother had done. Apparently he saw images of trucks racing down a mountain side. So clear that he saw numbers on them. And we just nodded and smiled.
I found him fully dressed and sleeping on the couch during that time period. When I woke him, he reported that he had been told to be ready to go to a committee meeting at the hospital about delivering babies. Just the day before, I had put powder on his rear end and held the urinal for him. I wondered how we had gotten kidnapped, too.
Bob was buried during an ice storm that turned the funeral home parking lot into a skating rink. My son, sister and cousin and I were marooned at the Marriott Courtyard for 3 days and 3 nights. Christmas Eve saw us eating dinner that an employee had prepared and brought in just for us. She was an angel in an island of ice. We were deeply graced by this miracle. The next day I had crackers from a machine for Christmas Dinner and the tsunami of 2004 followed.
And I am still here writing. And nothing ever returned to normal. As if normal had ever existed.