Mom was gone. My husband John and I sat by her bedside in the hospital as she took her last breath. Gone in an instant was my prayer partner, my friend and the one person who shared my sense of humor. Prayed out, cried out, numb, the following weeks I just put one foot in front of the other and went about, with check list in hand, doing what needed to be done. Memorial-check, Rosary-check, funeral-check, burial-check and then onto pack up her house; to do this item on my list I needed to find some tiny zip-lock bags to store individual pieces of her jewelry. At home I looked through our office, tearing it apart, and finally searching through a plastic cart stashed in the corner filled with miscellaneous junk. Reaching inside one of the shelves I pulled out a small flat green box and a padded envelope. My breath caught as I recognized the envelope, inside was a photo album with snapshots from my childhood—an album that my step-mother had sent the year before, one that I thought John had accidentally thrown out. Unfortunately, the garbage truck had already left by the time we realized what had happened. John had been as devastated as I was, imagining my childhood memories buried under piles of trash at the dump. No amount of apologies could take away the sting I felt each time I thought about the lost photos. Now, holding the missing photo album I remembered crying to mom about the pictures, and how she had searched through her own albums to find out if she had any copies. When she found similar pictures she sent them right away with a funny note cautioning me not to throw them out.
That was my mom going the extra mile and always making me laugh. Smiling, I looked down at the other item in my hand, the small green box, trying to remember where I had seen it before. Opening the top flap I realized it was a card, one of those recordable cards, I pushed the button and heard my mom’s voice singing “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Pammmm, Happy Birthday to you!” I could just see mom laughing, as I sheepishly apologized to John for accusing him of throwing the album away. Somehow even from heaven she found a way to make me laugh.
This is a follow up to what I wrote in an ealier blog called loss, click on the link to read it....