This morning when I opened my eyes and registered what day it was, I thought, 19 years ago, I was sleeping on the floor of my room in my Pound Puppies sleeping bag, and I awoke to my dad and my sister standing in my doorway...and I already knew why.
They were there to tell me that mom had died during the night. I took one look at their faces, and I nodded my head. Dad said softly, "She's gone." His nostrils were flared and his cheeks were red - the telltale signs that he was fighting back tears.
I didn't feel any sadness, as she had been sick for two years. I didn't feel pain, as I knew she was no longer suffering. After the undertaker visited and they took her body, we spent the afternoon cleaning out the den, a 9x10 room at the far end of the house that she had secluded herself in for the final few months. In the background, Ray Boltz played, with the song 'Thank You' on repeat*. That afternoon is my most vivid memory of the days to follow.
It's amazing how fast the past 19 years have gone. It's amazing all the changes that have taken place in her absence. Now that I'm a mom, I'm sad that she wasn't here to see it all happening.
This afternoon, a beautiful vase of flowers was delivered to me from my sister. The card read:
It's hard to believe it's been 19 years. Mom would be so proud of the person and mother you've become...love, Steph.
Mom would also be very proud of the kind of person that Stephanie is, and the "mother" that she's been to me.
* I had to Google the few lyrics that I remembered of the song to find the artist's name. I decided to click on the You Tube link and listen to the song...I'm now totally drenched in my tears. It's unbelievable the memories that can be unlocked simply by listening to a song.