And there it is in stone. With death, there comes all these “things” you have to do. You call the funeral home to pick up your loved one. You go to buy and plan all you need done. You have the funeral. And then you pick the headstone. Everything about this headstone is mom. I know she is proud. The granite is the same color granite that is in the Texas Capitol. She was a Texan to the core. The American Sign Language sign for I Love you is something that she has done since I was a child. I remember getting out of the car and she would wave to me with that sign. And as a I became a driver, I would see that in my rear view mirror. The phrase “forever and ever and whatever” is something she and my dad have been saying to each other since they were in high school. It just made sense that it would be here. Even the flowers that dad chose to put in there are just very much her. The yellow rose of Texas. After we all met to look at the stone, we drove to Galveston, one of her favorite places, and had lunch at one of her favorite seafood restaurants. Dad said that having the stone laid is a bit of closure. There is no more waiting for something else in regards to this tragedy.
The holidays were hard. We smiled and laughed, but she lingered in my mind the entire day until I couldn’t resist it anymore. I sat down by my favorite gift and I cried. She loved Christmas. She loved shopping and she loved playing Santa. She loved all of us being together and having fun.
As the new year started, all I had on my mind was that 2013 started out so well. We ate the “lucky” food of many different cultures. We made sure to follow the rules of each culture as we ate the food. Her first few scans were clean. Other members of the family received good news. 2013 looked like it was going to be SO much better than 2012. Mom and dad even made signs that said “2012 cancer” and burned them.
I find myself so incredibly lonely sometimes. I can be around people and feel it and I can be alone and feel it. It is felt most when I am sitting at home and all I want to do is talk to her. Just useless chit chat was my favorite. I would love and appreciate her advice. Would love to vent and have her calm me down. I want to be in the car with her running errands or going to a movie or going shopping. I just simply want to be with her. My motherly instinct tells me that Isabella is feeling the same. She has been talking about mammie and asking questions again. We have had some pretty intense talks about heaven for a four year old and it has been fueled by her.
Yes, it has been rough, but as I have heard dad say, we have had more laughs and smiles than crying. And that is a step. My brother Joseph put it well in a New Years Eve post: life is a journey through hills and mountains! It’s those who climb back up the hills that truly stay happy and succeed in life. Never give up.
So we can’t crawl in the grave with mom. We will stay up top and climb that mountain together, as a family. Just the way she would want.