|Together again, for eternity|
On Saturday of last week I got a call that Mom was not doing well and steadily going downhill, and that I should come if I could. Well, it turns out that Cam's trip to NYC, while successful, ended on not great note when he discovered, upon his arrival at the Albany Amtrack station, that he had left his car/apartment keys at Shaina's. That meant an addition train ride to Rochester on Friday night, followed by a day of crew obligations, after which, on Sunday, we would drive back down the thruway to pick up the car in Albany. Seriously?!
So, when it was clear Mom had taken a turn for the worse, I decided I needed to take care of the Sunday trip and go into work for at least a little while on Monday to get some things in order, having been out for college stuff the week before. We all communicated on Monday, and decided that Nic and I would leave on Tuesday and be prepared for the duration. Mark had been in Denver all month and was scheduled to fly back on Thursday so he was also "on call."
Nicole and I arrived around 12:30pm on Tuesday, at which time my mother was pretty much unresponsive with irregular breathing. By 4pm she had drifted peacefully away as her breathing slowly stopped. Her passing was very peaceful and all we could have asked for. We all believe she waited for Nicole and I to arrive, and, ironically (and unfortunately), Mary had stepped out for less than hour to meet with the caterer for the post-burial reception and Mom passed away during the time she was out. With Mom's health decling in recent years, it certainly was a blessing that she was able to leave us peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones.
It was decided the calling hours would be on Thursday afternoon/evening, and the funeral on Friday. Because I had my final reconstruction surgery scheduled for Friday (which had been scheduled for months), I decided that Mark and I (who was able to fly back from Denver on Wednesday and join the family on Thursday) would leave after the calling hours Thursday and say our final goodbyes then. I also decided not to pull the kids out of school since it was their first week of classes. For better or worse, I was concerned that they would start the term already feeling behind the eight-ball, so they stayed put in Rochester and Syracuse.
Mark and I arrived home late on Thursday night, and I had my scheduled surgery (which kept getting delayed and did not actually happen until 7pm) on Friday. The surgery went great and I feel very well!!
The silver lining, of course, was spending wonderful, time with the family. I think we are all acutely aware that our family is getting smaller, and it was great just being together, sharing lots of laughs and memories.
It feels very weird to have both my parents gone now, but it's so comforting to know they are now together with our other beloved relatives in Heaven. What a great comfort!