This is the first Monday since Grannie died on the 11th. My Mom.
The death of one's Mother is no less keenly felt by a man of 69 years of age than it would be by a boy of 12. It's just at 69, it's not as much of a surprise.
All through her hospitalization, I held out the hope she would regain her strength, and get well, and come home. At the end, it became obvious it wasn't going to happen.
In the end, she got what she wanted. She went to sleep and she didn't wake up. Her heart stopped.
Somewhere, deep inside of me, is planted the memory of the sound of her heart - from the inside.
She is the woman who gave me life - she is the reason I exist at all.
And now she is gone.
I ran across an ancient book of photos of people long dead well before I was born. Iowa people. Tracey, Snodgrass, Green, Matthews. Templeton. Pierce.
Templeton and Pierce made my Mom, but all those other names, and many more, belong to families of those related, directly or indirectly, to Mom. And, therefore, to me.
It's hard to look at those old photos and ascribe life and personality to the figures I can see in them. In the photos. They are just names and stoic faces in faded shades of grey. Or sepia. With handwriting surrounding their photo - or sometimes faded pencil writing on the back. Saying who they were. And sometimes, how they were related to some ancestor or other.
My mother lives in photos, now.
The thing about digital photos is that they don't fade, the expressions on faces are real and immediate, personalities come through. Mostly.
I have her photos. I'll remember all those years and the times we had. But I won't have Her.
She's in heaven, knitting caps and scarves and afghans for the angels.
Ndinombethe, Mom. As I go, I am wearing you.