January 27, 2023 — This week, the northwind has been sending us soft snow. It’s filling our skies with specs of white and delicately covering all the earth’s things. It feels so much like what I know of January and the normalcy is especially nice to hang onto right now. My mother Mary has chosen this week to leave her life and during this sorrowful time, the snow, Colebrook’s basketball, a ski run with Hawthorn, and walking Sonny with Steph has given me some needed balance.
She fell a few nights ago and broke her hip in a fall in her room. She is 92 and frail as a wisp of spring fog; with no reserve energy to recover. I saw her the night before and we had what would become her last conversation with her family. It was late and in this past year, I have just loved putting her to bed. It starts with pulling her covers up and squeezing them tightly around her shoulders and then kissing her forehead and turning out the lights. And then the goodbye routine we six children of hers all know. “I love you.” “I love you back.” “I will see you in my dreams.” “I will be there.”
When I arrived at her bedside after the trauma, she looked at me and murmured, “Oh Bobby, Bobby, Bobby…” She was altogether different from the Mommy I’ve known even from the night before. I gave her the best peppy love talk a son can give. She smiled and closed her eyes and I felt her listening for a moment and then she slept deep and peacefully. And she has been sleeping quietly for three days now. Although, a precious moment happened when her only daughter Patty arrived and for a mere moment her eyelids moved and her lips lifted in a sweet smile.
Driving home from Mom’s room at Effie’s in Leland last night, M-22 was covered with sparkling snow. Not a car passed. Not a light was present. The soft snowfall was dreamy and peaceful. Oh my lord, I thought, this sweet winter weather and the solitude of the north has brought her halfway to heaven already.