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Thursday, March 16, 2000

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Goodbye, Mom

My father called me at 5:30 this morning to tell me that the nursing home had called to tell him that my mother had died at 4:35. He was on his way to the nursing home to see Mom for one last time and he picked me up on the way. She looked asleep and we didn't stay but just said goodbye.

We had been so distracted that Dad had locked his keys in the car, which was running! A couple guys who work at the nursing home helped us get in with a coat hanger. An 84 Olds, any 84 probably, isn't that difficult to get into.

We aren't having a funeral as my mother's body is going to the hospital for research. This was decided a long time ago and I'm glad that it may help keep someone else from getting altzheimers. We plan to have a memorial service in a month or so and just remember her. To me a dead body, though it should be treated with respect, is not the person you knew. This is one reason I have such a hard time understanding cultures that feel old bones should never be touched. Treated respectfully, yes, but if they can be used to help others, or increase our knowledge, I don't have a problem with studying them.

Dad dropped me at home and I took the bus to work, only half way I was suddenly starving (How to Grieve by Rachel Aschmann) so I got off and grabbed breakfast at McDonalds and then walked the rest of the way to work. It was good to just walk along in a beautiful morning and watch life go on.

People at work all went "Why are you here?", but where should I be. Dad was busy with plans and I'm glad he had something to do so I went to work. I'll take my three days when we have the memorial service. I did get tired of thanking everyone for their condolences and Dad said this evening that it got old for him too. It's wonderful that people care, but there's not much you can say.

I feel tired now but peaceful. This has been hanging over our heads for a long time. It's like waiting for a door to slam or for someone to come home. You're always waiting for something to happen and unconsciously tense up everytime you think about it.

I just realized that I am the oldest woman in my line now. My grandmothers are dead and I don't even have any aunts who are still alive. That makes me feel sad. I still have my father and uncles and all my brothers but I think to a woman a mother, even if you don't like her (and I liked my mother), is more of a link to the past. With men I suppose it's fathers. I gave birth to my daughter and my mother gave birth to me and my grandmother gave birth to her. That's a real blood link that men don't have.

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Walked 1.5 miles

(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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