Saturday, March 3, 2012

An Untimely Death

Reflecting on the recent shooting of teenagers, where three of the teens passed away after the event, made me stop and think about the untimely death of my mother. How it played on my mind and those of my family, has never been lost with time. I sincerely pray that no parent has to suffer such a traumatic occurrence.
Most of all, I will never forget my grandmother wailing in our parent's bedroom, that a "child was never supposed to go before their parent". She uttered these words time and time again. It became embedded in my heart and sunk in my brain. It will never go away. I cannot fathom the loss of a child and being a very brittle person, I am sure I would crack up, if I experienced such a tragedy.

My mother went in for a "normal" surgery to have scar tissue cleaned up from her spine, as it was pinching nerves and causing extreme pain (a trait that all generations have inherited, including my brothers and our sons, I am sorry to say). I stopped by the hospital to say hi, on my way to Dallas to visit my boss for dinner. I look back and wish I would have stayed, rather than leaving and shared more time with her. I will never shed the guilt of this event and in my mind, taking it so lightly.

The call came at 3:00 AM and my father told me at that my mother had passed and I was to contact my brothers and let them know. I was still in shock when I called George in Austin, to tell him and couldn't raise Pat, so I dressed and drove to his house to let him know. No one answered my knock. Thank God I knew his bedroom and which window to bang on, as he shared a house with two other guys.

From then on my brothers and I consumed mass quantities of alcohol and somehow got through the ordeal of "planning" out the funeral with our Dad. That is a horrible thing to do after a loved one passes and everyone should make arrangements ahead of time and not have your family suffer through this. I actually walked out of the casket display room, where the samples were kept and would not, could not and did not participate in this function.

The day of the funeral came and we had the service. At the cemetery when I placed my rose on her casket (we each decided that putting a yellow individual rose on her casket, before they placed her in the ground, would be appropriate as she loved yellow roses) and I somehow pricked my finger with a thorn. The blood flowed and I took this as a sign that she somehow was aware, I had laid the rose on her casket.

In the limo Pat and I broke completely down and George and my father were steadfast and helped Pat and I from falling completely apart. After all, we had to face the family back at the house. George's time came later. I am not sure about my father, except for during the "planning" session when he literally fell apart one afternoon.

My grandmother again started her statements about a "child was never supposed to go before their parent", when we got home and suffered a stroke a few years later, before a second stroke that literally left her in a vegetative state for two more years. I know down deep that my mothers untimely death more than likely aided these events.

For at least 10 years or so, my personality changed on the eve of my mother's death and my poor wife had to suffer through this for years and years. I would fall apart each year thinking about her untimely death, her dying at such a young age and my guilt at not staying. Each year I think about it on September first and it becomes more and more easy to digest as the years pass. As I sit here on the two year anniversary of my father's death, I am thankful I had the memories of this fabulous woman that I have. I still miss you Mom!

No comments:

Post a Comment