A year ago tonight I drove back from Hospice, singing the entirety of Jesus Christ Superstar. It kept me from crying and kept me safe on the interstate.
I had kissed you good night for the last time.
When I sat down just now to write about tomorrow's anniversary, I remembered the anniversary of today, how I left work early to go and be with you. I had you all to myself. It was sunny and clear, like today. Lilacs and all. I sat and listened to the O2 concentrator and watched you breathe. I prayed. I cried. You said, "Love you too." I turned out the light and drove, the peepers chirping in the roadside bogs. You were going to miss so much. You were going to God.
While Jon and I finished walking the dogs tonight I was thinking ahead to tomorrow. I got a lilac to plant at the cemetery and we're all getting together at Lisa's. It occurred to me that it had been an entire year since I saw you last, and, I am doing okay. As a catbird whistled his mixed up medley of mimicked bird calls overhead while we wrangled the dogs, I thought of the catbird that laughed from the trees after your funeral services. I wondered if a wave of grief might come on graduation, and who knows, maybe it will. However, as I switch gears from instruction to review for the boards, I'm more likely to cry because school is over, I will to miss my friends and the now familiar rhythms of study. Pins are ordered. Uniforms sized. Boards applied for. It's really over.
Life changes again.
Patrick is flourishing. You would get such a kick out of him these days. He won "Mr. Congeniality" at the Mr. Holland Patent competition-- that was second place! He played and sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on his ukelele and did some brave comedy involving tight purple shorts. Then he was Pumba the warthog in The Lion King production they did, and he brought down the house. He was hilarious. Finally, this past Thursday, I watched his last vocal concert of high school, and he won the Vocal Ensemble award. He was so happy and I am so proud! I said to him the other day: "You know, just an observation-- you don't seem to be buying in to the idea that you are an adult now that you are 18." He said, "I look the same. I feel about the same. And, I'm really not all that mature, so, no."
There you have it. It is highly likely that I will cry on HIS graduation day!
So-- yes, I miss you, Mom. It hardly seems like a year ago. However, I know I will always feel close to you. We'd have a lot to talk about. It is a shame that our conversations are mostly one-sided. Oh, guess what? Of all the facilities that hire graduate nurses, your old place is looking like my best bet! So at least for now, that's where I'll go. Even if you told me not to, I am going to anyway. There's more to learn about what your life might have been like-- the people you knew and the space you worked in, anyway. It seems right. I'll let you know how it goes.
So-- I'll talk to you later?
Good night, Mom.