Oh, I don't even know where to begin. I have been putting off this post but it makes me feel like my life is on hold if I don't finally put it into words.
March 26. It was a Thursday. A very hectic week because our semi-annual Twin Sale was that weekend and I was the new Chairperson. I told my mom to take a break for the day because she had been helping Mon-Wed and would be back Fri-Sun. She kept asking if I was sure--she could come over and help clean because my cousin Emily was coming, or fold laundry. No mom, you have been helping a ton so just take a day to rest. I can't ever remember a time that she said no when I asked her for help.
That night I was frantically working on details for the sale but Emily needed help sorting her sale bins that had been stored in my basement. We didn't get to it at the last sale because I went into labor. So Emily's mom texted my mom and said something like "can you go help Emily with her bins? They aren't done since JoLynn's in the hospital." Mom walked in my back door, out of breath, and in a panic saying "You aren't in the hospital!" Nooo...She thought Robyn meant that I had gone to the hospital that night but she meant from the last sale. Looking back, that was my last glimpse of how passionate my mom's love was for me.
Mom and Emily worked a few hours and around 9pm we sat around the table and enjoyed a piece of cherry pie together that Emily brought from The Lake Geneva Pie Company. My favorite. Somehow we got on the subject of having a hard time hearing things and I said "speaking of not hearing well..." My mom got this big smile. I don't know how to describe it but I can close my eyes and still see her sitting next to me with that smile. It wasn't a look I saw often but there was joy on her face. Emily looked at her and said "you know what she is going to say don't you?" and mom shook her head yes. I proceeded to tell Emily about our recent dinner conversation with Sara. Mom struggled frequently with hearing correctly what the kids would say. Sometimes they would talk too fast or not enunciate but she was also hard of hearing. I had been telling Mom that if she didn't hear them well to not make a guess as to what they said because it usually wasn't anywhere close and then Sara would get frustrated and tell her she needed to get her hearing checked! But on this night, Sara said something and Mom repeated it. Sara, all excited, gave her a thumbs up--"Good job, Grandma, you got it right!" We had a good laugh and then Mom told us she needed to head home before the Boogie Man got her as she didn't like driving in the dark.
March 27. Friday. 7:45am. I put the kids on the bus and Shannon and I left to set up for the Twin Sale downtown. Mom was supposed to be at the house by 9:15 to watch Evan so Emily could take her 2 littlest to my neighbor's and she could join us downtown. Emily texted me at 10:15 and said Mom wasn't at my house yet. It wasn't like her to be late, especially not an hour late. Emily took all 3 kids to my neighbor's and I started calling Mom. And calling. And calling. And calling. I had a fleeting thought of what if she was dead but dismissed it like I had all the other times she didn't answer but was napping or her battery was dead or she forgot her phone outside somewhere while she was pulling weeds. Shannon left to go check on her.
11:00am. I will never forget this moment. I was standing at the front of the gymnasium and turned around to find Emily in front of me. She took both my hands in hers, cocked her head to the side, and with tears in her eyes said "She's gone."
"She's gone. She went to sleep and didn't wake up."
We stood there for the longest time holding each other while I wailed in her ear. The first thing I thought to ask was whether I treated her well during our last time together.
And then my whole world changed. Forever.