I know – it sounds like a really strange combination. And it is. But that’s what my Wednesday and Thursday were like.
As you may know, my mom died on Sunday morning. I’ve been running errands and making arrangements for days now. I have to live up to my title as “the strong one” – she gave me that title. Wednesday morning at 11 AM was the funeral. My mother chose to be cremated, so there was no casket to take to the church and no funeral procession to drive in. It was much better than when my father died (43 years ago) – 3 day wakes and interminable time at the cemetery.
My mother’s funeral was a celebration of her life. Many people attended, even people who had drifted away from her in recent years. My sister read a “eulogy” of sorts at the beginning of the service. I read the lessons. I also read something I had written at the end of the service. I’ll share it with you afterward.
Following the service, everyone went to a local restaurant for lunch. My mother would have enjoyed that part so much. She loved entertaining and socializing (casually, usually). She would have made sure everyone had what they needed and that they were having a good time. Since her “hospitality gene” skipped me, my daughter took over. After all, her college degree was in hospitality management. She did a great job and made me proud.
My fibromyalgia has been flaring up to varying degrees since my mom went into the hospital a week ago. Stress is the biggest flare-up trigger I have and there sure has been some stress this week. When you add in all the standing I’ve done at the wake and funeral, you get a body that has been begging for some relief. Not easy to find under these conditions. Add in an unexpected house-guest (even if it is my daughter) who takes over the living room and den, who is always cold, who thinks we should watch Project Runway instead of hockey because that’s what she wants and what do you get? Flare-up city!! I’ve been taking the pain meds and muscle relaxants almost religiously. It makes for a bit more fibro fog, but otherwise I couldn’t have made it.
My son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, did not attend the wake but did get a bereavement day for the funeral. He surprised all of us by trying to talk to people and staying throughout the whole dinner as well as the service at church. His grandmother would be very proud.
Wednesday was also the final class of the required series of 4 classes I have to take to proceed with the lap-band surgery. Otherwise, I have to start at the beginning again! No way. So after we left the restaurant, I ran (okay, drove) home to change and get into Worcester for the class. Boring – nutrition. Class starts with a weigh-in. This has been a really bad week of poor food choices – like Sunday, when my sister decided we’d order pizza in for all of us. But my weight was only up about 1 pound. Not too bad. I just have to get back on track. My fellow classmates were floored when I told them where I’d been earlier in the day. And very supportive and kind. I think I may actually miss seeing them on a regular basis (though not the class itself). We did all exchange e-mail addresses, so we’ll be able to keep in touch.
After the class, we had to go back over to my step-dad’s house – because that’s what everyone expected of us. Personally, I really just wanted to go home and relax. I don’t have the same need for or tolerance of having people around as my sister does. But I didn’t want to start a ruckus the day of the funeral, so I smiled and faked it. We left around 8 PM – partly because I was exhausted, partly because my husband had to work the next day – but mostly because my daughter was sobbing non-stop. Everything she saw reminded her of her grandmother and all the unsaid things and unasked questions (like what was the recipe for her Shepherd’s Pie). My daughter really was a mess.
Thursday, I looked forward to some peace and quiet. After all, my daughter slept on the couch until after noon time. But the phone kept ringing – my sister, my step-dad, my oldest friend who lives in Delaware. Even Mitt Romney’s campaign doing an automated poll that ended abruptly when a pushed the key that indicated I was leaning toward a Democrat. They called again later in the evening – same tape – does that constitute harassment?
Relief came in the late afternoon. My daughter’s oldest friend picked her up and they went out for a while. My son left for work. Blissful, wonderful quiet. Home alone with my husband. We ate dinner in peace. We didn’t have to watch what we said or how we touched each other. I thanked God for working that out so well – or maybe it was my mother now managing things on a higher plain.
It’s Friday today and my daughter is now sleeping on my bed because the recliner she chose to sleep on last night left her with aches and pains. Oops, I spoke too soon. She just got up and said, “We should go see Grampa!” I guess I have my “marching orders” for the afternoon. She flies out tomorrow and that’s good.
I guess I’ll talk to you later – my “boss” has spoken.