I was on my way into the Woo, but hadn't heard back from the person I was going to see, so I took a left and figured I would go to a cafe and write for a while and wait for a message.
While driving I was listening to a segment on NPR called Death and Taxes. The story playing was about Hospice and the interviewer was talking to a nurse and family members of the patients. It hit home pretty hard, but like a car accident or a Brittany Spears video, even though you probably shouldn't, you just have to tune in. I was in tears hearing the labored breathing and that all too familiar way someone who is dying attempts to speak, like a bad ventriloquist, very monotone, no energy to put into pronunciation never mind just mustering up the words. "Do you want a shower?" "No, no, I can't." Resonated right in the middle of my chest.
While listening to this I came out near the reservoir in a town nowhere near where I thought I would. I was on the same street as my Mom's credit union. The one I have been avoiding, I am on the account and have to close it. She died December 15, 2012, here it is April 26, 2014. I couldn't ignore the signs. They closed at 1 p.m. and it was 12:30 p.m. Short and sweet. Get in and get out. No one is going to want to stay late, so the chances they won't drag out the process were in my favor.
Mom had that account for more years than I can remember. She used to tell me "Today is the anniversary of the day I opened my account back in...." I mean, Mom celebrated everything, including the day she opened up her own credit union account. She remembered that my brother Michael had his spleen removed on Flag Day back in 19XX... I mean she remembered and celebrated all sorts of things.
My license and a signature, and it was closed. A ten minute transaction and she was no longer a "Member." I held my tears back until I got into the car and then let them go. If someone were to be on a commercial praising this place it should have been Mom. She always talked about how wonderful they were and how they were the first financial institution to give her a loan. How they were so friendly to her (I believe she brought that out in people). She always had a smile and a kind word. She was very good at meaningful small talk. Even going to the oncology floor with Mom was like walking in with a movie star!
Today I feel like she is just one more step removed from this Earth.
I ache to hear her voice daily, some days I am okay, and some days I am definitely NOT okay.
Grief, "not a linear process." Death, so much more than just the actual act of dying, or losing the person at their last breath. So, so much more.
She is no longer a member.
xo Mom ox