I miss my mother. This morning I drove down to Salt Lake City, getting back to my regular work schedule of two days in the Salt Lake office each week. I ALWAYS talk to my mother right after I get on the Interstate in Idaho.
This was the first time I'd made the drive since returning from Pennsylvania after her funeral.
I miss my mother when I'm driving.
I also miss her in the little, funny things of life. We shared a similar sense of humor (which it took me to adulthood to understand, quite frankly -- but that is another, much more angst-laden blog post). So, it doesn't surprise me that, even as her body was shutting down this life on earth, there was a humorous moment along the way.
Background: The timeline of my mother's illness and decline is that she was still up and around for several hours each day until the four days before she passed. She passed on a Sunday. The last time she was on her feet was the Thursday morning before. By Thursday afternoon, we knew she wouldn't be getting up again, and the hospice nurses made arrangements for a hospital bed to be brought in on Friday. And so it was, and mother was able to walk the five steps from one bed to the other, and that was pretty much it for her.
On Saturday morning, she woke me at 5:15 or so -- I forget why. Her eyes were still closed -- she was so weary at this point -- but she motioned to the hospital bed that she was lying in and said something I couldn't quite catch. After asking her to repeat it another two times, I finally realized that she was asking me, "Did he bring this in by himself?" Of course, my rejoinder was, "Did WHO bring this in by himself? Gus?" (meaning her husband). "No," she replied, "your father."
Well, now... that's a wee bit awkward.
In the split second that followed, I realized I had three options. 1) Remind her that she had not been married to my father for the last THIRTY FIVE years (what ARE you thinking, Mom???), 2) Remind her that my father had passed away nearly three years ago, or 3) Assure her that, indeed, he hadn't brought it in by himself. I opted for #3 and smothered a smile. If Mom had been up to it, she'd probably have enjoyed the humor of my situation there.
And when I remember that moment, I miss her so darn much that I can hardly breathe for a second or so.