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.