Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On the First Anniversary of My Mother's Final Goodbye

Yesterday I reached a milestone.

One year ago yesterday at approximately 1:15 pm, I watched my mother draw her last breath. It has been a very long and painful year. But in some ways I have learned a lot and, yes, at the age of 53, I guess I can say I have grown up.

This weekend I traveled back to WV to check on things...and to face down my fear of being there for this "anniversary." Some of my friends in Huntington were very attentive...and one in particular dragged me to Pt. Pleasant and to Parkersburg to visit Blennerhassett Island. I thought that would be quite fitting, given the fact that Mom had a tremendous fascination with Blennerhassett and would have loved the opportunity to go there.

I was feeling kind of smug. I also visited the cemetery. It was the first time I went and didn't melt down from grief. The person that went with me and I actually chatted and laughed as I told him some of the funny things that my mother has shared with me....and the other memories I have and of some of her quips. I also told him about my dad's last visit to the cemetery before he grew ill this summer. He got to see the stone...and he pronounced that it was good....then he went to a neighboring monument....sat on it and lit up a cigarette.

I felt so proud of myself. I was able to get through all that without tears....without my heart breaking. I thought that my grief counseling was doing the trick.

Then today happened.

I packed up the car....took a few last looks around at the house....and the things.....set the alarm system and got into my car....and drove.....and get back here at a decent hour.

I made it to Covington, VA, before I needed a break and some food. I stopped at a KFC....ate....and I could feel it coming...

I got flashes of what it was like to be in that room at St. Mary's Hospital in Huntington....seeing Mom.....and seeing her leave.

I went to the parking lot....climbed in my car...and just sat there....

The grief nearly swamped me. I cried....and I cried.....and the pain was just so intense. It felt like I had just lost her all over again.


Blogger Paul said...

Frank, You are doing great. You will always miss your parents; I know I do after all these years. But in a sense you have really grown up - you have to you are an orphan, with no brothers or sisters to lean on. And maybe it was the KFC...

9:08 PM  

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