Sun, Dec 31/17
Today marks the end of "2017". It has been a year I will never forget...
I have been grateful to be spending this time in your home. It is the last time "you" will play host to me. It's been relaxing and so peaceful here as I have squandered these days away.
It's been beastly cold and as I wavered between staying or going yesterday, I could hear you say, "Stay another day...what do you have to hurry home for?" So I stayed.
I had hoped the extra day would give the weather a chance to break but it doesn't look like that is going to happen until tomorrow. What would you say about that?
I've puttered away a little bit while I've been here. Nothing extraordinary and I most definitely didn't break a sweat. But a wipe here, a swipe there and I stumbled upon a glass picture of an owl in a downstairs window. I think I'll bring it home with me...
As I sat still and gazed out your living room window to enjoy the view you saw evolve over the years (and most especially this past one), tears fell from my eyes. I've been wandering through these days as if I were you, taking everything in, listening to the walls speak .
Laughter and voices of those who have come through these doors are ringing in my ears. Your home holds so much history. Laughter, joy, pain and sorrow ... but most of all, this house lives and breathes "family".
A family united. Throughout it all, you were the constant. So many people came and went. Company was welcomed with open arms - "Everyone brings joy to this house ... some when they come ... others when they leave". This slightly paraphrased plaque Trev gave you said it all.
You welcomed everyone who came to call. Everyone. The coffee was always on, even if it wasn't coffee. "A cuppa...", as May would say.
Derek's family were going to be your last guests. At first, you were simply resigned to the idea even though you weren't up to company. You perked up when you decided you would like to have an assortment of fruit to offer them. You chose the selection - pineapple, strawberries, grapes, banana. "Don't get them yet, though. Wait until the day before they arrive..."
I never did pick up that fruit. You ended up in the hospital the morning Derek's family was due to arrive. Throughout your hospital stay and (almost) until your dying day, you kept asking me if I had picked up that fruit yet.
A host to the bitter end. That was who you were. Your door was open, the coffee was on and your offer of a "B & C" (bed and coffee) was always available.
Your clock would be chiming 8:00 right now. Your walls are talking to me again. I can hear your voice as we called it a night. "What time shall we say? 8 o'clock?", as we decided a reasonable time to get up the next morning.
I remember those last mornings when I sat at your table, watching for your bathroom light to come on, signalling the beginning of another day with you. It didn't happen. I knew it wouldn't, but I wished for it so...
I think of you every time your clock chimes 8 a.m. It isn't quite the same now that your clock is in my home but it is close. The sense of smell can take you back to another time and place. The sense of sound is a close second.
I must pack up and remove all traces of my presence very soon now. I will be thinking of you. I will wear your angel on my shoulder for my drive home and hope you can guide me home safely.
I will miss you, Mom. Thanks for everything. You were everything to me. The idea of flipping the calendar page to a brand new year without you brings tears to my eyes.
Rest easy. All is well here on earth. We miss you (but the letting go is a little harder than it sounds).
All my love,