There’s no telling when it will come, but someday I expect we’ll be getting another poem from Whitney. My dad called on Saturday morning and simply said “Mama’s gone.” I wanted to ask “gone where?” Like, the hospital (again)? or the store? (couldn’t be; she can’t get out by herself). You know how your mind can think a thousand thoughts in a fraction of a second – and then it stops. And I knew what he meant. And I didn’t know what to say. “Oh. Uh. Okay. Umm. Uh. I’ll get some things together and be there this afternoon.” Mom had been sick for so long, and I had prayed many times for some kind of healing or relief for her suffering, that there really was no shock, and no breakdown crying. Mostly worrying about Dad and whether he was doing okay. And some measure of thanksgiving that she passed peacefully.
While I knew that my mother was loved by a lot of people, I didn’t really know the extent of lives she touched until her funeral earlier this week. Most of the people in her small church family are either family, or friends she’s known since she was a kid. One of them, commenting on her ailments of the last 20 years, said that if you only met her in the last 20 years you really didn’t know her. And there were so many people at her funeral and visitation that met her before that time. People she worked with (she stopped working a LONG time ago), people Dad worked with, people she went to high school with, people she went to grade-school with (yes, they called it grade-school “in those days”), people who lived near her (one lady who signed the guest book listed her address on the first street Mom and Dad lived on; Dad doesn’t know who she is). Kids I grew up with in the neighborhood. People who came from 100+ miles away.
Everyone thinks their own mom is the best mom. There were a lot of people here this week who told me so. I am so thankful that she is no longer suffering, and now I can stop worrying about her pain and start remembering the good things she brought to so many lives (including mine). And now, I’m praying Dad will continue to keep his routine, and his days will be filled with all the tinkering and gadgetry that he loves.