As I got the kids ready for school this morning, I mentioned that their Nana passed away 14 years ago today. Immediately ~V popped up to say that was 4 years before he was born. Then for some reason I told them the story about how my mom thought I was marrying their dad on a Thursday…
It was just a week or two before she died. She was home with hospice care. She had a morphine drip and lock to ration her boluses (we could only administer so much of the morphine, which was a good thing, as I just wanted her out of the pain at that point). The morphine helped make her a little more comfortable, but also had her hallucinating all sorts of stuff, things coming up from the past, fears she may have had that now seemed real. It was more than a bit stressful. I remember feeling like I was the only person who could change her bedding and clothes gently enough so that it would put the least amount of stress on her frail and hurting body.
I had only known Kevin for 6 months by then, but that week or so we had Mom at home he was with my dad, brothers and I as much as possible. On one of those days, Monday or some day earlier in the week Mom was awake, super pleased, and excited. She had a twinkle in her eye and was going on about what was going to happen on Thursday.
Kevin and I were standing beside her bed in the dining room as she talked. Once I understood the gist of where she was going with her conversation I was horrified, but Kevin who was holding her hand nodding and agreeing, was clueless as to what she was actually alluding to.
She was telling us how excited she was that we were getting married on Thursday!!!
You would think it would have been OK with me for her to have had this thought, to have given her the lie of it. It sure was a lot better than the other hallucinations she had and it was making her feel so happy. Instead I was furious at Kevin for going along with her about it and wanted her to know it wasn’t true.
To help you understand and see that I really wasn’t an ogre (though I don’t know I even believe that myself looking back), my emotional state was something like this at the time: I had lived with her illness and imminent passing for 4 years by then. Though Kevin had made it known that marriage was on his mind, I couldn’t imagine making such a huge decision before she died. I felt like I had to find out who I was without her before I knew who I wanted to marry. Ultimately I left her with her happy ideas that day and lived with my uncomfortableness. She didn’t mention it after that day anyway as things progressed rather quickly.
About 6 months after she died, as the pain started to ease, I began to be able to see a future for myself apart from my mom. It was then that I knew that I truly wanted Kevin to be part of that future. We got engaged and were married a year after that…
So there’s the story. I told the kids a very abbreviated/ not quite so heart wrenching version and then added how I feel now. I told them this morning that “I am so grateful to have actually witnessed my mom so happy that I was marrying your dad. She only knew him for six months, but she thought he was wonderful.” and it’s true, I am so very grateful now for that excrutiating day, to have witnessed her knowing about the love of my life before I even knew.
I found these two pictures last week as I was going through a big box of photos I brought home from my Dad’s house. They are treasures from around the time my mom was a school nurse and I was in my early 20′s, single, and teaching art at the same school she worked at. We had the opportunity to go out on a tall ship replica that day.
This photo of mom with the rainbow is just how I picture her and how she embraced life. Looking at it makes me think of Thursday weddings and how downpours eventually end and rainbows suddenly appear.
Love you always and forever Mum!