It’s been a week, now, since Mom passed.  Her funeral was this past Sunday; the flowers sit upon the hearth, and the well-wishers have gone home.  We are now left with the monumental task of documenting my parents’ estate — decades worth of property to sift through.  It’s a daunting task, and one I want no part of, though I expect I’ll be needed.

And, as my wife and I try to regain our equilibrium, there is much writing to do.  The Serpent of Hellas.  The Orc Book.  The Damascene Blade and the yet-unnamed third book in the Emir of the Knife trilogy.  Perhaps the last bit of work on the Secret Project will take precedence, who knows.  Then there are the short stories and ATTIKA, things that bring in nary a penny, but that I like doing.  It is a busy time.

Even so, through these somber days I only want to sit with my back to the wall in the room where both my parents died and talk to them.  I want to ask them if I did enough to help them . . .

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4 thoughts on “Through These Somber Days

  1. Working helped me when my mother passed. I couldn’t sit in the room where she passed because it was in a home in Florida, where she was supposed to be recovering.

    She had been driving her hover-’round to the grocery store a few block from her house when a truck hit her. She did a complete flip and, because she was buckled in, broke both of her arms and shoulders. Since she was unconscious, the driver claimed she swerved out into traffic–if the cops had bothered to check on him, they’d have learned he had just served time for failing to get a plane full of pot off the ground before he was busted–and they ticketed her. (Keep in mind, I live in Maine with my wife and kids, so I wasn’t there–or even informed–until after the fact. I had been taking care of her here, until she decided to take her long awaited SSI/Disability settlement and move to a trailer park in Florida.)

    By the time I got the news, she was being wheeled around by a nurse and recovering from surgeries. Naturally, I flew down. I only had a short window to be down there, so I tried to be there, run errands for her, learn the facts and make arrangements for her. The hover-’round company replaced her chair, but she had such a fear of it, she wouldn’t use it. So, I never got it up to her. I had family looking in on her, so I left for home, with the promise of returning ASAP.

    Just a couple of months later, I received a call telling me she was dead, and I had to go clean out her apartment, pick up her ashes, and reimburse her sister for the expenses. My wife did an amazing job of doing what I couldn’t.

    It turned out that the nurses in that home didn’t clean her and she got bed sores. On of them became cancerous, and she died of a stroke in the middle of the night.

    A few months later, at 35, I had heart failure. While I was in the hospital, half a state away from my wife and children, I beat myself up about all the nights my mother had spent alone. It didn’t change anything, except to make me feel worse.

    It took a while for me to come to terms with the fact that SHE knew what was happening. She’d even told a few of my relatives that she was ready for God to take her. In the end, I know she had been suffering a long time–much longer than the accident–and I know she was tired of the world beating her down. She would never have given up, but I think she wanted to not have that fight anymore.

    I still haven’t been able to open the box to scatter her ashes, as she wanted. I haven’t been able to let the last of her go.I blogged about her once, and only once, and poured what I could out there. While I did, I was reminded of the most special thing about her. She was MOM. Her whole life had been dedicated toward doing the best by me as she could. Sure, she needed someone sometimes, but always her goal was shaping me into the best man she knew how.

    That’s how I honor her. That’s how I moved on. I do right by MY kids, wife and friends. I strive to be her masterpiece, instead of worrying where I failed her. And, from the looks of things, you’re doing well by your mom, too.

    I wish you inner peace. If your family squabbles anything like mine–or my wife’s–you’ll need it.

    -R

  2. Scott, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I am glad you found your voice in writing…and hope it can help bring you peace now. Our prayers are with you.

    Shannon Henderson (and family)

  3. My condolences Scott on the death of your mother. Having had multiple family deaths in a short period of time and going through the estate management over and over, I can sympathize both with your grief and empathize with how overwhelming the financial/legal logistics must feel at a time when so much of your energy is consumed in mourning.

    I suspect that you being a writer is something of a blessing at a time like this. The final/fifth of my family deaths was that of my long-term partner who died suddenly from pancreatic cancer. I felt compelled to write about the incredible two weeks between his diagnosis and his death – the product was a memoir “August Farewell”. It was both therapeutic for me and has left me now with a tribute to Bill and to our 33-year relationship.

    Perhaps, there is something that you might write (for publication or just personal memento) that would combine two of your great loves – writing and your mom.

    Warm best wishes,
    David

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