Two years ago today I weeded one of the back flowerbeds in the afternoon. My mother-in-law’s condition had taken a drastic turn for the worse. Her life in the balance–one foot in mortality, and the other beyond–weighed heavily on my mind. I thought of all the things I wanted to say to her. I knew we’d be heading down to visit her at home that evening. Thrusting the shovel into the soil and crying. Pulling weeds and crying. Standing in the middle of the flowerbed, feeling the most profound sadness.
We drove down. Nana lay in bed, writhing from pain. I said some of the things that crossed my mind earlier, not knowing if she was lucid. She seemed to have heard me and calmness swept over her.
We came back home. Got ready for bed.
Reilly got a call around 2am.
We drove back down.
Seven hours later she was gone.
We wouldn’t really sleep again that whole week.
We visited the cemetery last night with Reilly’s family. The entire grounds popped with bouquets on every gravesite. Memorial Day weekend.
As we pulled next to Reilly’s mom’s plot, Z said, “Hi, Nana.”
We all sat by Nana. Papa watered her bouquets, and we told stories. Z sang for us and kept us laughing.
There’s a lot of people to remember this weekend, but we’re always going to remember Nana first.