a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Goodbye, Mom, Four Years Later

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Goodbye, Mom, Four Years Later

SUMMARY: My story, or Mom's.

Backfill: Remembering Dec 27, 2016.  [posted on Facebook , then added and edited here, Dec 27, 2020 ]

Four years ago--

Today minus 3 or 4 days [or it might actually have been Christmas morning, but I think it was earlier]: Mom had been bedridden in the den for some time,  a month? two? Less? More? Weaker physically and mentally all the time. She missed Dad so much. 

I and other people were in the house. I wandered into the den, and Mom already displayed a big smile. 

"You look happy," I said.

"I am!"

"Care to share your happiness?"

"I'm waiting for my ride!"

Me--puzzled--"What ride?"

"Grandpa is coming with the sleigh to pick me up!"

Me -- "Okayyyy..."

We said other vague pleasantries--she wasn't talking much now. I wandered back into the other room and mentioned this to someone. 

Or it was an uncle rather than her grandfather, I don't remember now. 

She had old sleighbells that had belonged to that sleigh when she was a girl, and she loved those memories. She'd hang the bells on the door each Christmas season, so every arrival jingled a joyous welcome.   I wondered whether she was thinking of that.

She was so weak.  I went home and spent hours working on a slideshow of her and dad, realizing that no physical gift would matter to her at all now, but that she would like this.

Four years ago minus two days: Christmas morning. It became clear when I walked in that she wasn't going to be watching a slideshow or doing anything else. I think that she was just awake enough to say I love you when "I love you" is first offered, but not much more than that. I wish that I remembered more details.

Because, four years ago today, I was still surprised--were we all surprised?-- when she slipped away after my sister called us but before any of us arrived.

Did her grandfather arrive with his sleigh? I've often wondered. It must've been a glorious ride through gleaming unsullied upstate New York snow.

As I stood on her front lawn, watching her being driven away,  the skies saluted in the only way they could.

1 comment:

  1. If you're subscribed to my blog and think that you've already seen this come through--you did. I had to take it down and repost to fix its link. - January 12, 2021.