It's like something important dropped from my hands, crashed to the kitchen floor, shattered to a thousand sparklies and it's gone. You can expect something for a long time, and know it's coming, even want it, yet still not be quite prepared. Just like that, it was dropped and gone.
I called the nurse after I washed and lotioned and dressed her, after I painted her nails, put her lipstick on and did her hair, so she'd be ready; the nurse called the chaplain.
Chaplain Fran came right over, but before sitting down to her prayers, a tiny moose walked under the window - a moose far, far too young to not have a mama nearby.
A moose represents movement to and from this world, movement in the void, truths acknowledged that were denied, parts of the hidden self that are found, strength and self respect, and unseen speed.
With unseen speed she was gone, even if we both knew for weeks it was coming, but like seeing the bullet train I can only remember the Doppler effect.
The tiny moose is back this morning, looking hungry; it is not quite light yet. Something scared it back between the houses; the wind is up, and it has lain down next to my crawl-space vent. Something about it taking shelter at my house comforts me, even more than knowing my mother is free of the in-valid body that had trapped her for the last forty years.
"What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." If that is true my mother was the strongest person I ever knew. Making the step to trust me, to come from her lifelong home to live with me in Alaska was a huge step; the trusting me, I mean. In the last two years she told me many things about her I never knew - even one or two things I think she had never acknowledged to herself.
Lucky me - I was not her favorite child - yet we have had a lovely time.