This day, June 30, 2013, marks a year since my mom crossed over into heaven. I know, her grave marker and all official documents call it July 1, but that's just because we were so slow in calling hospice after mom passed. Dave and I wanted to give all our kids time to see their grandma and say a final goodbye before her body was taken away. Karis and Meg were out babysitting, so by the time they got back and the hospice nurse made it to the house, one day turned into another. But we know. It was June 30, 2012 when Mom took her last labored breath here, then took her first free breath on the other side. Way to go, Mom! You fought the good fight, finished the race.
And us? We're still fighting, still running. Ev said the other day, "A lot has happened in just one year." Yup.
Family converged and honored Mom. The garage and car flooded.
A new school year started. Ev returned to homeschooling. I got sick.
Karis stopped eating gluten. I stopped eating gluten. Ev stopped eating gluten.
Nate played football. We all cheered.
Dave and I enjoyed a respite in Montana. Nate got the flu and we got bumped.
Karis unexpectedly lost a job, then found a few more. Meg worked two jobs. They both took college classes.
I worked. Dave worked. And Dave worked on his doctorate.
We celebrated holidays with Dave's family. Ev turned 14, Nate turned 16, Karis turned 20, Meg turned 18.
Dave and I may have grown older as well.
Meg graduated from high school. She'll finish up her two year degree next spring.
Karis took summer classes. She'll finish up her two year degree probably this fall.
I got iritis. Meg got glutened. Nate got a job at the city aquatic center.
We put the lake house on the market. It is under contract.
Dave declared Friday nights to be Family Night, and it is fun. I love these peeps.
One of my sisters is looking for my mother's grandmother's last place of employment in Switzerland, where she was a servant before running off with a stable boy to the U.S.
One of my brothers is preparing for his son's wedding in August.
I couldn't tell you what my other sister or my other brother are doing, because we don't keep in touch. I figured that would be the case with my sister, but I did not see it coming with my brother and it is a punch in the gut every time I think of him.
But the person I think of most is Mom.
When I go to the beach, I think how she would have loved walking along and collecting shells.
When I see her azaleas, camillias, magnolias bloom, I remember her delight.
When I pull up dead brown plants from her yard, plants that died on my watch, I am thankful she is happy in heaven.
When I ride in Karis' car, I think how proud Mom was of the Crown Vic, especially the cold a/c. (Especially notable here is that the '98 Crown Vic is the only car we have with working a/c right now.)
When I sweep the porch and sidewalk, I recall how important that task was to Mom.
When I stir up instant mashed potatoes, I know she does not approve.
But when I make the roux for Grandma's Gumbo, I think of her great love for good food.
And I wonder: How long does it take for her to fade? How long until all these sights and smells and actions are not saturated with memories of my mom? I know my mom missed her mama until the day she died. How long? Longer than a year, I guess.