Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mom's last wishes and goodbyes

So, we got up on Friday the 24th and headed to the funeral home. My Uncle watched the kids so that Jason could go with Katie, Kent and I. Being in that place knowing my Mom's body was there and I couldn't see it...was really hard. I wanted to ask to see her, but at the same time I was so scared to see her, so I didn't ask. We went into a room and sat down to do paperwork, the obituary, pick a casket and vault and drop off the clothes that we had brought for her to be buried in.

We got the obituary written and then went into another room to pick her casket. The first one I saw was a peach colored one and I said to Katie...this is it. However, it was one of the cheapest ones that they had, and we felt kind of "cheap" buying it. Mom's last wishes were for a plain box and no visitation. They had plain boxes there, but they were terrible...I couldn't imagine putting my beautiful mom in that ugly box. So...after about 45 minutes we finally decided on the peach one that we saw at first. Mom would have loved it if she could have seen it. After that we went out and had to pick a verse for the inside of the note card thing that people pick up at the visitation. They had books full of them but Katie and I picked one that was absolutely and completely Mom. :) After we were done at the funeral home we headed out to the cemetery.

At the cemetery we went down and saw where she was going to be buried. Her final resting place would be next to my dad on the left and when Kent passes away he will be buried on her right, so she will be between the 2. When my dad died she had his headstone made with her name on it, and I don't want that to stay if she isn't going to be buried there. So...she had purchased a single headstone back when he died also, so we went ahead and used that one for my Dad (I am going to bring their old stone here to Texas) and Kent and my Mom will have a new one. After the cemetery...we were off to the flower store.

We stopped at Blossom Basket and picked out the flowers for the top of her casket and a small pillow from the grand kids. Wow...flowers are expensive!!! After that was done we went back to the house to find out where the kids were. We hung out together for the night...it had been a long emotional day for all of us.

My Mom had said that she did not want a visitation, she wanted only a private burial at the cemetery for family only. However...we needed a visitation. We needed to see how many people Mom had touched. We needed to say our goodbyes to her and let all of her friends say their goodbyes also. So, what we decided to do was have a visitation, but have the casket closed after the family said their goodbyes. So the casket would be open for an hour before the visitation for family and then we would close it and let the rest of the people in. I think Mom would have been OK with our plan.

On Sunday, the day of the visitation we got there about an hour or so early. This would be the first time I had seen Mom in 2 weeks...and I was so scared. I started up the casket and had to stop and pick up James, I couldn't do it alone. I started sobbing about 10 feet away and had a hard time moving my feet forward. I hate funerals and visitations. I just stood next to her and sobbed and kept saying "Oh Mom, Oh Mom"...She looked so at peace and like she was finally at rest. That was the one thing that was so important...because the pain was SO bad for so long. She had a spot on her right ear that was black, and later on that day Katie told me it was because she had laid on that side so much at the end that it started to become a sore. I kept saying "why couldn't they fix that, why couldn't they hide it". What a silly thing to be worried about. My Mom was beautiful. She looked so pretty laying there. The kids did well with everything also. James wanted to touch her...all the time. He would walk up to the casket and reach over and touch her head or if we were holding him he would reach down and touch her hands, it was really sweet. Becca never cried, never shed a tear, never really talked about it. Bradley just hung out by the casket and watched people.

The rest of the family came to see her and give us their support. We were all there about an hour and then others started coming in, so we made sure they stopped everyone and everyone left so they could close the casket. We stood there for about 3 hours and there was a constant stream of people paying their respects. It was great to see everyone and see how much Mom meant to others. After the visitation everyone came over to Mom's for dinner that Cindy had prepared for everyone. It was great.

The actual funeral was going to be tough. We got to the funeral home early again to see her for the last time. I bawled and bawled...I couldn't say my goodbyes...I couldn't imagine not seeing her physical body ever again. The rest of the family came and said their goodbyes and then it was our turn to say ours so that they could close the casket for the last time. I kissed her forehead and told her that I will always love her and that she was the most important person in my life...Goodbye Mom. Steve Busick did the funeral, and he did an amazing job!!! He said everything right, and everything that we wanted said. We headed out to the cemetery and I called Prairie Gardens to say that we would be driving by...when we got to the corner of Duncan and Springfield we looked over and there were about 30 people or so standing there. The funeral director stopped the hearse right in front of them and they all waved, blew kisses, and said their goodbyes to her. OMG...it was amazing!!! Sobbing in the backseat again!!

After we laid her to rest at the cemetery we headed to the VFW for dinner. It was nice, but hard to enjoy when all I thought about was what we had just done. My Mom was buried, in the cold ground, she was gone...and all I felt was alone.

We buried her on Monday and Tuesday afternoon we headed back to Texas. I cried the entire way to the airport, the entire flight to Dallas and the drive to San Antonio. To think about moving on, or continuing my life without my Mom was inconceivable. I can't imagine being happy again or laughing or living. My Mom was with me for my entire 38 years. I talked to her on the phone daily, and sometimes more than once. I loved her, more than I have ever loved anyone else. My Dad died before I was born...so my Mom filled in as both of my parents...and now I have no parents. Sadness overwhelmed me and it still does.

My life has changed and there are days that I can't hardly "live". We got back home and we "went on". We have no plans to go back to Illinois (unless we go for Thanksgiving)...so this will be the longest I have been in Texas. We'll see how life treats us. :)

That's how we said goodbye to my Mom. She will always be in my heart, and I will miss her everyday. I will continue to talk about her to the kids though, because I am scared that someday they won't remember her. I will never forget her...and I will love her till eternity!!!

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