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eleventyone ([personal profile] eleventyone) wrote2017-06-10 01:31 pm
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Mom died on Sunday, probably Sat/Sun overnight. She was a week shy of 83.

I did not think I would cry, when Dad died on 11-22-15, I managed a sniffle and a half, I think after the funeral. The funeral was delayed weeks I think because of timing for everyone, but he had been cremated, so it was convenient to wait.

Mom: every time I got alone I cried. And it's strange because none of her 5 kids ever called her mommy or mama as I called her when I cried this week; she was always Mom or Mother, briefly Sue when my aunt decided her own only child should call her by her first name. Mom always did what her younger sister did. But when I cried it was for mommy, mama. I guess I cried for the part of her I never knew.

She was really mean to me when I was young, as was my father--he started out by picking me up and throwing me when Mom was pregnant with my next youngest sibling, he was born a year and a month after me. So I was a year or less old. She had asked him to pick me up because I was in the crib crying. The doctor had her in bed because her back was hurting after being very pregnant and having to carry me. I'd started crying and he hated crying, and when she asked him for help, he picked me up and threw me on the bed.

My dad just didn't believe men should have to lower themselves to do women's work. When I got older he pretended like he didn't mind females at all, but he sure loved to get irritated when he was asked to be responsible. He was violent, though just enough to get to be able to whatever he wanted to do, which he did. Unless it would be something that would get him found out.

She sought advice from nuns, who told her to be nicer to him.

She was making her own meals, knew what day it was most of the time (she kept track on the calendar), wrote as many checks as possible indiscriminately to any charity or lying pack of fools who sent her a request. So after a while her kids held her checkbook and still let her write checks but not as many, because she overdrew her account several times to do this. She could walk with a cane, though my one brother insisted on buying a walker with wheels, but it never came to that. She kept on with the cane.

She kept up with family fairly well, and friends alright, but I think pretty many of her friends were smart, well educated people, but selfish. They were from the Forum, which she attended for a while, and from her pottery group. She had become a "ceramic sculptor"--worked in stoneware & porcelain--in her early 40s I think, kept it up to retirement. It was a good living for her, but she was a pretty bad enabler, an enabler of codependent children. 3 out of 5 us lived with her and she paid the bills for at least the last 10 years, never gave a reason why. For my part, toward the end of my 13 years of Al-anon, I figured out I was emotionally blackmailing her. It wasn't just my dad who was destructive, and she felt very very guilty. My memory of much of my childhood was pretty much blank, and my young adulthood was particularly awful. I've figured out pretty much why by now, but for years didn't remember thing one about why I was just incapacitated all the time, and terribly poor and stayed home for the most part and didn't really have any friends.

She was doing fine. I got up Saturday morning, a week ago, rather early. I noticed things in the front hall had been changed around, though they'd been the same for years. Just small stuff, she could not have moved furniture. Her short term memory was so bad, from alcoholic dementia. Her long term memory wasn't too bad, though.

She was just starting to make plans to do things with family, was going to start having dinners once a week for us who lived at home. She'd done that in her drinking years, but the "Family Dinners" were utterly miserable owing to the fights she loved getting into. Always, always arguing. In her last years, I think she forgot about that, and wanted to do things peacefully this time.

I think she'd forgotten that she'd done it before at all, the weekly dinners for the unmarried kids. The alcohol really took a lot out of her life. I do really think she wanted to start over.

On Saturday when I'd been up early, I went back to bed after a while, then  slept till noon or so, ate something and went to the library till closing time, about 6. I got home and didn't see her, which was somewhat unusual, but not entirely, I thought maybe she was taking an extended nap. She could have been still sleeping, or even have died by then, or even earlier, even been gone sometime Friday night. But Friday she had done her cooking or reheating and eating as usual, dealt with mail, the phone or whatever, and probably did a lot of reading as usual, she had lots of library books to read, always read a lot.

Sun. I got up and went to church, after an unusual morning of waking up and praying quite a bit for family and then for HER. I was moving past some of my old pain with her, and was forgiving a lot. I was really concerned about her life and what she was missing out on. I went in the bathroom and heard very clearly, "YOU ARE NOT TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR FUTURE". Well, I thought, great, I've been praying about that and kind of worried.

I went to church, came home, ate and went upstairs for a bit. After a while I went to the window and looked up--a police car was parked at the curb, and ambulance was parked in midstreet. I thought it was for the neighbors at first, then maybe the apartment down a few doors, another heroin overdose in the neighborhood. Just about 2 or 3 seconds and I decided, uh, there is someone in the house who is elderly. I came downstairs, my bro was out on the porch talking to 1 policeman, one or 2 more in the house. One asked if I was the daughter, I said yes. He said Mom had passed, did I want to look at her. I said yes, and he warned me gently that she had what looked like bruises on the side of her face that was on the pillow, but it was just blood that had settled, and it was common or what people looked like after they had been lying there a few hours. Sure enough, it looked like that.

She was lying on her side with her hands tucked up under her chin, one of her hands was blue too, but very peaceful. She had just slipped away during the night.

She was healthy for her age, still went with my bro to do her shopping and pushed the cart, used it as  a walker. Her dad did that too, till his early 90s when he died.

I found a prayer on her couchside table, looked like she had just written it, not dog-eared or coffee stained or anything. It was probably copied from something, possibly something in the back of her bible, publishers often put stuff like this in. It was something to the effect of, I believed Jesus was the only Son of God, he died so my sins could be forgiven. Ah, that is a paraphrase, of course.

Two of my friends from church were at the visitation with me, the whole time, or I don't know what I would have done. Maybe just gone home to be alone, or stood there, stupid. 4 friends from my  Al-anon meetings showed. I saw some people I hadn't seen in a long time, some I don't need to see again, but it was good to see them.

One of the church friends went with me to the funeral, the interment and the lunch afterward. Again, needed that badly.

The funeral was beautiful. The (Roman Catholic) church would not allow the flowers that had been at the visitation in the funeral home to be in the church, they were "not appropriate  for church". Come to think of it they could have been worried about bugs, we had (aauugghh!!!!) bedbugs earlier in the year. If so, they were just being polite. But at the time, it just reminded me of the things nuns would do, like you were supposed to understand how "Our Lord" wants things to be done, so rude. Ugh, whatever. My church is not like that.

Oh, I even saw an Al-anon friend at the funeral, she was on the bereavement committee (they help organize the eulogy, prayers, songs, etc.). Last time I saw her was at the library downtown, the main library. She liked to research her family tree, and they have a large collection of that type of resource. .

Lots of guilt for how I treated Mom and also how I let myself be treated, but I was told by one of my friends to not beat myself up. So I've just been fighting it off, kicking the thoughts out, just saying "I forgive". It works.