As I do every year, I have booked the day off work on Monday. It will have been four years since Mom died, and the anniversary continues to be a difficult time for me, in which I just want to hide under a blanket. So I plan to hide under a blanket.
But I am a fool, because Monday is easier than today. I woke up on the morning of 25 January, 2012 and showered and got dressed. Mom had been sure that she wasn’t going to make it two days earlier, but seemed a bit better the day before. I went out into the cold morning in Waterloo, Ontario. I got myself a bagel and a coffee. I was about to open my computer when the call came.
It was a shock, but it was also expected. I had been preparing myself for this for a long time – from the initial diagnosis years before, through the recurrences, and finally through the final bout of cancer.
So Monday will be a tough day – it always is. But today is tougher.
22 January, 2012. The next day, my mom will think she won’t make it through the day. She will be wrong. But this day is the toughest day I’ve had. I’ve been in Waterloo for seventeen days, now. Karen and Maggie arrived a couple of days later. Today is their flight back home.
So we start the morning by packing. We pack their things into a bag. We pack their bag into the car. And we drive to the hospice.
This morning, four years ago, my mother said goodbye to my daughter, knowing it was the last time they would ever see each other.
Then we drove to the airport.
I’d write more, but there’s something in my eye.