Saturday, March 07, 2009

The beginning of the end

I was standing in church -- soaking in the peace of it all -- when the phone rang. The phone never rings while we're in church. Never. Not once in all the years I have been there has the phone rang during service. But the phone rang that day. And I knew exactly what it meant. We had been waiting for awhile for it to come to this, but that day it arrived. The elder at the front of the church answered it and said it was for me. But I already knew.

I picked up the phone in the basement and spoke with the home care nurse. She told me it was time. The ambulance had been called, arrangements had been made. Mom was going into the hospital for the last time. Pain levels were too high, level of care was getting higher. It was time.

The last five years have flown by in some ways. Each deathiversary is marked in my mind, but -- since the first one -- they seem to go by quickly now. This one has slowed. The fifth seems important. Like I should remember more and pay homage to those memories.

The memories of the month from March 5 - April 9th of 2004 are embedded in my mind. Yet, this time, I feel like I should be taking special note of them. I should be taking them out of their spot in my mind. Examining them. Looking at how they have changed in time. How they have changed me.

I don't think it is fair to my family for me to post them here. The memories that are often so fresh in my mind I remember every detail. Every smell, every way the light entered the room, every person present. However, each one of us has ownership to those memories, so they are not mine to share.

But I do remember.


  1. I hope you will write them down anyhow, whether you post them or not. You have a way with words. One can FEEL what you are feeling as you write. I love you.

  2. Oh goodness, I don't think I'll ever forget that time the phone rang. (The only other time I remember it happening was when Mark died and you called for your Mom just at the end of prayer meeting.)

  3. Hey, you stupid effer, next time do you wanna say up front that you're remembering something that happened a long time ago before I freak out and think that someone else died?

  4. As my wife and I often say a funerals, memories are truly a gracious gift of God.

    May you cherish yours for a long time.

  5. I cherish my memories. Some still bring me to tears, some can now make me smile, but I remember. I will never forget. You will never matter what. Your right. It does change you, and lots of times...for the better!

  6. You wrote this so beautifully and yet simply that you have me in tears.

    Is it no wonder that the word verification reads "qualliti"?

  7. I was all teared up until I read the comment where Lyn called you a "stupid effer". Then, I'm sorry, but I laughed a bit.
    Very well written by the way.


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