Mom didn't die the last time I wrote. She waited until July, 2014, one year ago. She always surprised us. Even the doctors and the hospice caregivers couldn't believe her stamina. And so long as she was comfortable and happy, I went along for the ride.
And a ride it was. Mom planned her own funeral. She picked the music. She selected not two but three outfits! I was to make the final choice at the time. The colorfully embroidered jacket had been mine until she confiscated it one day when I was visiting. She wanted to take her favorite knife with her but I resisted. However, for her casket I did enclose a cuddly teddy bear that I knew she would have liked similar to one I had purchased for my dad as he was living with dementia.
She wanted a "Celebration of Life" and we had a grand one complete with funny stories, her favorite deli food and Bingo with prizes.
It feels weird though. Every time I reach for the phone to tell her something. Every time I wish I could dip into her wise and vast knowledge. I miss the good times. And I remember the stubborn, feisty, infuriating person who shared her opinions even when they weren't appreciated. I wish I had those qualities but deep down, I know we were very different. And that's one of the reasons I miss her so.
And then there's the sudden awareness that I'm next. That all my aunts and uncles (all 16 pairs of them) are practically all gone. And I wonder what awaits me. How will I deal with my demise or more importantly, with those who I love and leave before me.